When a child is sent home with head lice or arrives with the dreaded head lice notice, all mothers feel the same panic rising from their pit of their stomach. Couple this with a little anxiety and some good old fashioned guilt, a bit of wondering how on earth this could happen to them and you have a parent primed to do whatever it takes to get rid of head lice, no matter what it is.
If you are anything like us, you’ll wonder how they contracted these parasites in the first place thinking, “But we’re not dirty, how on earth could we get lice?!”
Well we found out fairly quickly after a call to the pharmacy where the pharmacist informed us that head lice actually prefer clean hair, but will live anywhere. Dirty hair just makes it a little harder to move around that’s all. This is followed by the mandatory over the counter treatment of the day which is almost certainly a pesticide based preparation. Cha ching goes the cash register and out walks another drop to add to the 100 million dollar bucket, and that’s just in the US alone.
What most parents do not realise (just as we didn’t) is that these chemical products contain the same pesticides used in rat poison, lawn treatments, fly spray and other chemical agents which affect the central nervous system of both the pest, and unfortunately the host as well.
These chemical agents have the potential to do serious harm, even if used 100% as directed.
To make matters worse, our children are especially at risk because they have a higher percentage of scalp surface per kilo of body weight, so they absorb more of the chemical. Children’s immune systems are not as developed and don’t deal with toxic chemicals as well as adults, making them particularly vulnerable to toxic threats.
Parents need to be aware that just because they are prescribed or bought over the counter they may not be safe, in fact they may have the potential to cause serious harm, even if used as directed.
If you absolutely HAVE to use an over the counter or prescription pesticide for whatever reason, please use the following as a guide to choosing the safest possible treatment for use on your family.
Read the instructions through carefully and adhere to them strictly. When I was speaking to people to research my book I spoke to mothers that had left their chemical based head lice products on their children overnight. I read about one lady who had left it on overnight then woke in what felt like a brain fog with extremely sore muscles. She had felt extremely unwell, like she had been poisoned. Carefully follow the instructions and do not deviate from them in the slightest.
Avoid Lindane based preparations as though your life depends on it, as the case may very well be for your child. All pesticides are poisons, but Lindane has been proven to be carcinogenic (contain cancer causing agents) and cause brain tumours as well as a host of other problems, including blood disorders, damage to the liver, kidney, nervous and immune systems and DEATH. Although banned in 52 countries, this toxic chemical is the working ingredient in over 2 million prescriptions for head lice and scabies in the US.
If the label says to not use the product more than once a fortnight, then do not use it more than once a fortnight. This one is very important as using pesticides more frequently than is required can be fatal. » Read more: Eliminate Lice Safely – How To Choose A Head Lice Treatment