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.
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.
*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?
Recent posts on Six Little Hearts:
Linking up for IBOT