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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad, when he is not relaxing in one of our best recliners, or by one of our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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Do schools still have the nit nurse?

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This may sound a strange blog post for our usually fluffly and "nice" blog, especially when the thought of nits, or head lice as they prefer to be known, sends most people into an itchy and scratching frenzy.

I remember the nit nurse at school.

I remember the stigma of those who were found with lice in their hair.

I remember all the parents saying "don't be upset, they only like clean hair".

All of this came flooding back to me last week when my daughter started scratching her head after her shower and  I started combing it through to find this ......

 What do head lice look like

I was mortified, we always tied her hair back for school, we regularly used tea tree oil repellent but still they found her!

She was upset.

I was upset. But I was also a little bit miffed that no one had said anything at school. I immediately got in touch with all her little friends parents to get them to check their children's hair.

Needless to say, I spent an hour and a half combing through her hair but it was late at night and we had nothing to treat her hair with so we googled natural home remedies for the removal of lice. Here are the top three ;

  • Coat the hair with Olive Oil to suffocate the little mites. Some people suggested Vaseline but lets be honest, that is going to be unnecessarily messy, and is going to be difficult to wash out. It was recommended that you could try coating the comb instead of the hair and re-applying the oil as needed. You may have to try both methods to see which works best for you. Work under a good light so you can see what you’re doing. Rinse out the comb often under running hot water as you go. 
  • Tea tree essential oil is a natural insecticide, making it an effective treatment for head lice - they REALLY don't like it. So all you need to do is mix together one teaspoon of tea tree oil, one ounce of natural shampoo and three tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. Apply the solution to the whole head of hair and then cover your head with a shower cap or towel. Leave the hair covered for a half an hour and then rinse thoroughly with hot water.  It is important to remember NOT to apply tea tree oil directly to the scalp.

  • Garlic - lice apparently detest it and abandon ship. I have read that one mom gives her children a garlic tablet on a regular basis just to keep them at bay!


We chose the "suffocate them with oil" option and the poor little thing had a shower cap on her head for about 18 hours! It definitely helped with the lice but we chose an over the counter treatment to ensure that the eggs were eradicated too!

I am pleased to report that they have gone but it doesn't stop me from itching when I think about it.

So are you sitting there scratching your head yet?

Do you think that schools should bring back the nit nurse? Would this have helped?

I just wonder if our weekend drama could have been avoided before an outbreak began. The social stigma of "nits" is what makes people avoid talking about it but we need to share the problems, the ideas for remedies and above all, make sure that the children know that it is something that can be dealt with and not scorned.

Am I asking too much?

Rant over!

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  1. I really am scratching now. I do my children's hair every Sunday night very quickly with the nitty gritty comb which is the best thing - I do it even though they havent had them for years because I don't want them spreading if they do get them - my hair is really thick and if they passed them on to me it would be a nightmare.

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  2. Kitty and Ozzy have managed never to have them so far - but then I only wash their hair every fortnight - likely connected!

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  3. I sure wish they still had the nit nurse ad Miss E was gettign them constantly last year, I trated about 15 times in 3 months, it was crazy. Apparently they are not allowed to tell you directly as a parent now either! Mich x

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  4. We have had a nit free few years as my bigger two seem to have gone past the age, then this week I had a note from pre-school saying they had had a case - luckily I only found one on Syds head - but still did the whole lotions and combing thing! My eldest is 18 and never had the nit nurse at all so I presume it doesnt happen anymore!

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  5. I agree with you. R has caught them at school and after painstaking removal and eradication, she got them again about 3 weeks later. Shame not all parents are so vigilant :(

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  6. aww poor little thing. I don't remember a nit nurse at my school but I had a very nice school nurse. This post is really useful as there was a sign at my daughter's nursery today saying there was a case of headlice!!! Eeek!! xxx

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