Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Facts About Head Lice: How To Treat Nits Plus a Nitwits All In One Product Giveaway

I feel so horribly qualified to write this post. Can you be qualified as an expert on head lice? If there is no such thing or person yet, then I am self nominating because my kids seem to always have nits...did you hear that?


It wasn't always this way. It's only been in the last four or so years we have suffered what seems like a never-ending scourge of the little critters. To be more precise, it's since we moved from the inner burbs to our current home on the outskirts of metropolitan Melbourne.

Here, amongst the wineries, cottage industries, cows, grass, mountains and trees, flourish countless nits on the heads of the local residents. Something about the fresh air and slower pace of life? I am thinking nits must like the community feel here and have decided to park themselves in the neighbourhood permanently.

Prior to living where we are currently, I had no experience with nits whatsoever. I'd never had them myself; my kids had never had them; I'd never even seen one before. Then one fateful day, while hanging washing following kinder, I spotted a small bug crawling in my Son's hair as he stood in the sunshine. I flicked at it before noticing another bug, and another...and then millions of the things! Let's just say, that day was my ordination into my official and revolting role as a nit expert.

I had been planning to write this post here for many months. In fact my header image was taken way back in July. Then out of the blue, Nitwits contacted me and asked if I'd like to know more about their nit treatments. Sadly, a huge sorry YES! spilled from me. I not only would be interested, but I would even appreciate trying it!
With the commencement of the school term, I knew intuitively that it was only a matter of days before one of my kids would breed a colony of human bloodsuckers. My product arrived by post in the second week of the holidays and my psychic abilities proved true by the second week of term. Ruben came home from school one day and while chatting to me, (more of a yelling in my ear type convo really - he tends to 'talk' that way), he scratched:
Not once, but twice.
I was onto him in .01 of a second, sifting desperately through his hair, hoping like crazy there'd be no moving parts; no animals. But there they were...a family of nitty-nits: Aunts, Uncles, newly-weds, juveniles, the unborn and their parents, all congregating happily on his scalp, oblivious to the destiny that awaited.
The conversation with my eight year old while I treated his nits went a little something like this:
"I have two girlfriends."
Then in his best Voldemort impersonation "...But I told them there can be only one!"

Head lice isn't nice, but the conversation can clearly be enlightening!

Myths abound about nits. I've heard all kinds of crazy theories in my Mummyhood. Some of the silliest include: Nits prefer blond hair, nits can hop or jump like fleas, nits only like clean hair or dirty hair, (take your pick). Nits only like people with poor hygiene or impeccable hygiene.

The truth is, nits couldn't care less about your socio-economic status, your hair colour or your race. (Sadly, I've even heard some shockers on the latter.)

All anyone needs to contract nits is a scalp with hair. Full stop.

Nits look like miniature crabs or dust mites and crawl quickly from hair to hair and head to head. They can fall from hair quite easily too. Several times my boys have come home from school to tell me that a nit fell onto their school work that day - lovely!

Nits can survive under water for around 20 minutes and have a healthy immunity to your shampoos. Conditioner can temporarily stun them but not kill them. Head lice also have an incredible glue that adheres their eggs to each hair shaft which can see the dead eggs hanging around attached to your child's strands for several weeks to months.

Kids may scratch their heads, or not scratch - we've experienced both. Nits cannot survive long without a host and will die shortly after falling from hair or in places such as bed linen.

You can prevent your child from contracting head lice in the first place by tying long hair up or in boys, having shorter hair styles is helpful. Encourage children not to share their hats. If you have an outbreak of nits in your home, washing your child's pillowcase is really all that's required following treatment. There's no need to wash the entire bedding. Sometimes vacuuming the bedding around the head area makes you feel better though! (This will reduce dust mites in any case.)

Strictly follow all instructions on any products that you use to kill nits and ensure you carry out any follow-up treatments if required. Finally, check every child's head in your home to avoid a cycle of reinfection and do this weekly - especially during term time. Outbreaks of nits should be reported to schools, kinder and child care centres to reduce the spread in the wider community.

So I am itching to tell you how I went with the Nitwits treatment. Nitwits All in One is not my usual brand. (To date I have only used a few mousse formulations.) The Nitwits product is a little different and a definite improvement on the former.

Nitwits promises to control nits and their eggs in one treatment. It contains dimethicone and comes in an easy spray bottle. It is sprayed onto dry hair, massaged for a few minutes and left to work for 20 minutes. You then remove the nits from the hair using the included comb before washing the solution away with a regular shampoo. Done! You don't actually need to comb the hair at all by the way with this product if you want to save time, you can just shampoo it out! No fuss.
This treatment was so much easier and less labour intensive than the foam formulations we've been using up until now. Whole steps have been removed from our regular treatments - not needing to comb sloppy conditioner through your child's hair is brilliant. Timesaving too.
The Nitwits scent is pleasant and not unlike good quality hair products. (My Son hated the smell I should add, but that's because he's an eight year old boy.) The product is a fine textured oily type one and I noticed the fine spray that wound up on the floor made my floorboards slippery. (Similar to the way floors get slippery from furniture polish.) Not a problem as it did wipe off easily, but next time I will apply this to my infected kids outside. I really prefer this treatment to our regular method as it is so much speedier and more pleasant and we will be stocking up on this brand in future, ready for the next round of infestation.
Nitwits All In One retails for $22.95 at chemists. You can learn more about Nitwits here. 
A National Head Lice Awareness Month is set to begin on November 1st, 2014. No Nits November aims to increase awareness of the head lice epidemic and your school could win a $1000 donation of books too. #nonitsnovember
Would you like to try Nitwits All In One on your child?
Nitwits have provided two products to giveaway to two readers to try for themselves. Total prize pool is $45.90.
To Enter:
Follow the steps on the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load.)
Important: Please leave your name along with your comment so that I can match your entries.
This is a game of skill and the most creative / informative entry as deemed by the judge will win.
Full terms and conditions relating to all giveaways, promotions and prizes
held and offered on Six Little Hearts can be viewed here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 *Disclaimer: Six Little Hearts was gifted the product featured in this review.
How do you handle the treatment of nits when they strike?
Have you heard any ridiculous myths about nits too?
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  1. What I hate, because they aren't very nice
    Is the fact of the kids getting head lice
    We've already experienced one infestation
    Oh, the nuisance, and sheer devastation!
    I try to maintain a positive perspective
    But even the treatments are mostly ineffective
    Not to mention the time and the cost
    All that combing guarantees patience will be lost!
    So my top tip would have to be
    Tie all hair back, and use a spray with tea tree
    Hope and pray that'll be enough to prevent the nits
    Because they really do give you the sh...sads!!!

    Michelle V

    1. Haha!
      Well done - you've scored yourself a bottle of Nitwits! I will be in touch shortly. Let's hope you won't be using it soon!

  2. So many myths - it really doesn't matter what end of town you come from - some parents are just much better at getting rid of them than others. It takes time and patience. and by the way - now I am itching.

  3. I freaked out BIG TIME, took my daughter to a special place to get treated and then go over it and found all the products I could to make sure it never happened again. Of course it did when I was complacent ONCE at a birthday party in school holidays when I let her wear her hair out - BIG MISTAKE! Now it's plaited, hair spray, defence spray, clips and not washed as often so the buggers find it hard to cling on to her hair! As for nit myths, SO MANY, like the colour of hair makes a difference - DIR

    1. I freaked out too first time - and still do!
      You've won a bottle of Nitwits for your next outbreak :D
      Will be in touch shortly :D

  4. What is it about reading about nits that make you itch? Lol! Like you, we went for years without any bugs then Bam! Lucky I've spotted them quick and blitzed them before they got to comfortable. I think they regularly have problems at our local primary as I often see people complaining via Facebook local parents groups! Thankfully I don't have kiddies at that school but it's one of the joys of parenthood I suppose! x

  5. I find that using hair spray tends to keep the critters at bay.

  6. I'm really hoping our nit days are long gone but even typing this I'm wondering if I'm not asking for trouble. All my three girls 13, 14 & 16 have really long hair. We try and use a lot of hair spray and haven't really had any issues since we started doing this. One girl in my eldest daughter's class always has them. I'm scratching just thinking about it.

  7. Oh how I hate nits! My 24yr old Daughter had them many times while she was at Primary School & hated telling me that they were back & needed to be removed. My 7yr old Son has had them a few times & any product that makes the treatment easier is great in my eyes!

  8. I despise nits!! Thankfully we have been nit free for several years, but I'm paranoid every time I see my kids scratch!

  9. Nits seem to be a never ending problem at our primary school. With 5 kids there is rarely a time that I'm not doing Nit patrol. How I hate it! For the first time in my life I also have had nits! Always looking for alternative treatments, especially quick and easy to use, not harsh, but effective. Help me please!!!!!

  10. Nits the little buggers are a pain to treat on the kids. I have boys with short hear and they still complain when I have to treat them. I spray every morning on their hair the nits away hopefully it deters them from rubbing onto my kids hair.

  11. Comb and comb every single night. I cant find a good treatment (though this looks promising) so I just have to go over it. They hate it. My friend swears by flea treatment on heads which is a HUGE no no! Then there is the old wives tale of kero! This looks amazing for getting rid of those hideous little beasts.. ugh now I have an itchy scalp!

  12. Myth - they only like dirty hair WRONG!
    I treat my kids with a cheap shampoo and comb through the hair every few night.

  13. That using kerosene kills the nits!
    We use conditioner, a nit comb, tweezers and lots of patience!

  14. The Myth that they only like clean hair...not true!
    I have tried all sorts but lately it has been Pyrenel Foam and a nit comb!

  15. they only like clean hair We use over the counter medications the doctor has told us to get Tracy Wedding


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