If you aren’t traveling to a warmer climate this season, outdoor winter activities — sledding, skiing, snowboarding and more, are likely part of your family’s plans.
Earlier this year, a Springfield toddler suffocated as her family attempted a home treatment for head lice. The case is a tragic reminder that anyone can get lice, no matter your income, the way you clean your home or how many pets you own. But there are recommended ways to treat an infestation.
Are there natural or home remedies that work? There are some who claim that mayonnaise or petroleum jelly can be used to coat the head and smother the lice. This has not been proven effective, and even the most well-behaved of young children will not sit with goop on their heads for the recommended 20 hours while wearing a shower cap.
Added to the questionable effectiveness of natural remedies are some serious issues:
- There are frequent allergies to natural remedies like tea tree oil.
- Plastic shower caps used for protecting fancy hair-dos from the shower are dangerous around children. Children should never have plastic bags on their heads.
- Oils—peppermint oil, pepper oil or the essential oil of your choice—used in home remedies to smother lice are really hard to clean out of hair, couches and bedding.
- The remedy some adults use for head lice—dying hair—should not be used on children. Your child most likely already uses shampoos and sunblock for sensitive skin. Adult hair dye can cause reactions for children, including broken skin, hair loss, hives, itching and burns.