Dealing with lice? Don't be embarrassed

In response to the commentary, "Lice in the Chipmunks’ class, one dad’s story" (Feb. 12), I have a lot of compassion for this family's lice ordeal. First, I want to give this dad a loud shout-out for writing publicly about lice and not furthering their stigma. The good news is lice are not a real health concern but a huge itchy nuisance.

That said, our family was in the exact situation several years ago. Like our Chipmunks’ dad, I remember in full technicolor the instant our school nurse revealed live lice on my first grader's head. Our life has never been the same.

First comes denial: How is this happening to us? Then the guilt and shame of failing as a parent to protect my child from getting lice. Next, the horror and confusion of how to get rid of them starts to set in. Many families struggle to get rid of lice. Most families cannot afford to empty their wallets to the "Lice Lady.” Others spend hundreds on gimmicky lice treatments claiming to be a one treatment miracle with no follow-up other than selling them worthless and unnecessary products that create a false sense of security. This makes parents dependent on their services when they have a recurrence.

There is an abundance of myths and misinformation out there on lice. Parents become quickly overwhelmed.There are a myriad of products both over the counter and prescribed by doctors. Most of them don't work well and parents realize in a few weeks they still have lice. The truth is they never got rid of it the first time. One reason for this is lice have become resistant to chemical pesticide treatments resulting in "super lice.” Stronger, more toxic chemicals have been developed kill these super lice, but most parents want safer, more natural options than dousing our kids with pesticide.

There are also a myriad of products claiming to kill lice naturally. Unfortunately, there is no naturally occurring oil or other product that kills lice. Nothing kills their eggs, called nits. Our own experience with lice gave me a new-found compassion. Now, I have a mission to help empower families to defeat lice easily and effectively. The most effective lice products contain dimethicone. Dimethicone is a man-made oil made from petroleum which is non toxic and pesticide-free and kills lice in five minutes.

We teach parents about lice and provide easy follow-up methods. There is no need for parents to comb every night for two weeks. We make sure parents are not doing unnecessary cleaning and buying unnecessary products designed only to empty your wallet. There is no preventive product you can put on the head to repel or prevent lice. We make sure parents know how to properly check for lice and prevent them with a weekly combing protocol. We empower parents with lice knowledge so they can detect, defeat and defend against lice successfully.

If our dad had found us instead of the Lice Lady, he would not be fearful of bedtime routines or snuggling with his Chipmunk. You can't put a price on piece of mind.

Beth Weintzweig, Owings Mills

The writer is owner/operator of Md Lice Control.

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