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Is this why kids keep getting lice?

If your child gets lice, are you — as a parent — to blame? According to a recent survey, 70% of parents think so. The survey included 2,155 parents who have a child under the age of 12 and have used lice treatment. The parents were asked if their child had ever contracted head lice twice within a period of three weeks. Of those surveyed, 35% responded “yes.”

lice

The survey found that 7 in 10 of the parents believed the cause may be reinfection by their classmates who either weren’t treated or weren’t treated properly, while 22% believed it may be because they (personally) didn’t apply the treatment correctly on their own child. Another 16% thought the reinfection may be because they did not repeat the treatment a second time to make sure all of the lice and eggs were thoroughly killed.

So, what’s the real reason kids are being infected — and repeatedly reinfected — with lice?

You may relate to the fact that only one thing sends more shivers down the spines of school-aged children's parents than head lice — and that one thing is mutant head lice. Research from lice samples from the U.S. and Canada showed almost all of the insects (99.6%) had developed gene mutations, making them resistant to common over-the-counter lice shampoos.

Such shampoos often contain the toxic pesticide permethrin — which should not be placed anywhere near a child's scalp due to the health risks alone. But now it appears the chemicals will no longer be very effective either.

There's really no reason to apply neurotoxic pesticides to your child's head. Many will find a combination of coconut oil and manual removal to be quite effective, but you can also try:

1. Diatomaceous earth (DE) — Diatomaceous earth is made from tiny fossilized water plants called diatoms. The diatoms are ground up to make a fine, chalky powder that's rich in minerals and toxic to insects. DE works because it absorbs fats from the insects’ protective outer coating, drying them out and killing them. DE is nontoxic to humans, although you should be careful to avoid breathing in the dust, especially for a prolonged period. Here's how to safely use DE for lice treatment:

Place an old T-shirt upside down over your child's head so the collar forms a seal around the scalp. Apply DE to your child's hair, while being careful to keep the dust inside of the T-shirt "bag." Tie off the open end of the T-shirt and massage the DE into your child's scalp. Allow it to sit overnight, then shampoo it out the next day. This should be followed by a thorough combing with an extra-fine comb. You may need to repeat the treatment once a week for three weeks.

2. Tea tree oil — Tea tree oil has been long valued for its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties; however, it's also very effective at killing head lice. To create a tea tree oil solution, follow these steps:

Mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil, 1 ounce of natural shampoo and 3 teaspoons of coconut oil. Gently apply the mixture throughout your hair, then cover it with a shower cap or towel. Leave it for 30 minutes, then rinse it out with warm water. While your hair is wet, use a fine comb to remove the dead lice.

3. Salt and vinegar mixed with coconut oil — A mixture of salt and vinegar can work to dehydrate and, eventually, kill lice on your scalp. Check out these steps in creating a spray mixture:

Dissolve one-fourth cup of Himalayan salt in one-fourth cup of warm apple cider vinegar. Spray the mixture onto your scalp until it is wet. Allow your scalp to dry, and then coat it with a layer of coconut oil. Leave the oil for eight hours, and then comb out the dead lice. Wash your hair and scalp to remove the aroma created by the mixture.