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A little while ago the day mother advised us that there were sisters staying there who had lice. She advised the parents of this, which led to an altercation between the mother and herself and ended in the two children being removed from the day mother. The youngest sister, however, continued to attend school with Elijah. Their teacher was also notified. The children were checked at the day mother, but nobody seemed to be infected. Nicole is one of the day mother’s granddaughters (she is in high school already) and often plays with the children’s hair. She was the first to spot the lice infestation and she does spot checks while she is playing with their hair every now and then.


Nicole noticed Elijah was scratching his hair and checked but didn’t find anything. We started to notice at home too and asked that she check again. When we checked we only saw what looked like dandruff. Sure enough, when she checked again, both Elijah and Gabby had an infestation! She couldn’t find any live bugs in Elijah’s hair, but found a couple in Gabby’s hair. The horror! I arranged to leave work early as I wanted her to check me as well. I share a bed with Gabby and on the nights where Rudi plays darts Elijah sleeps with me too. I stopped off at Dischem and purchased Controlice products and quite an awesome comb for combing out lice/nits. I already had all the Tea Tree stuff and have been using it as a preventative measure, but one of the other mothers contacted me and advised me to get something else as she found the Tea Tree products ineffective. R300.00 later I collected the kids and Nicole went home with us. The kids were put in the bath and we started putting them through the treatments. The products have a strong liquorice smell, which isn’t too bad and it seemed gentle enough as the kids didn’t complain of any burning or anything other discomfort. While Nicole was combing and applying treatments I was stripping the bedding that had been changed two days prior, as well as scarves and caps that they have recently worn and filling the washing machine with buckets of hot water. After the wash everything went into the tumble dryer on a hot cycle. Rinse and repeat in 7 days. What a mission!


I had 3 people check my own hair, including the nurse at work and Nicole. Everybody said it was clear, but when I took Gabby to the doctor today I had him check me too…at least I got the green light! It would also seem that my children are the only children at the day mother that were infected. That is so strange to me, but it sort of confirms the suspicion that Elijah picked it up at school and likely passed it on to Gabby. It is a good thing though, since this will minimize the chances of the lice coming back. I don’t know how thorough other parents would be about getting rid of the infestation (the mother of the girls where it started was in complete denial about them having lice), so I would be worried about the kids picking it up again if there were other children infected. I think perhaps some people are ashamed of it as there seems to be a stigma attached to it. It seems that people are completely unaware that lice actually like clean hair and find it easier to cling to. A lot of people seem to think it is due to poor hygiene that lice infestations occur, which simply isn’t true.


I have also sealed all our hair accessories in an airtight container for a few days, washed my brushes with hot water and disinfectant and thrown my own scarves in the wash. Can you say “Paranoid”? Hopefully we’ve wiped them all out…I really don’t feel like going through this again!