March 23, 2009

The Tick


Half of my daughter’s elementary school classmates have lice; the other half engage in high-risk behaviors that put them at considerable risk for acquiring the communicable insect.


A few weeks ago, my daughter got off the bus wearing someone else’s baseball cap.

“We swapped!” she explained with a smile.


After receiving the principal’s email acknowledging the epidemic, I began inspecting my daughter’s scalp at regular intervals throughout the day.


“You look like Jane Goodall,” observed my husband.


I let that compliment slide.


In the end, my diligence paid off. Camber didn’t get lice (at least not yet). During our search of the woods behind our house for our missing cat last week, she acquired something even better.

I found the engorged tick ten minutes before the school bus came.


I was appropriately mortified, grossed out, and embarrassed. My daughter was almost giddy.

I agreed to put the tick in a small plastic see-through bottle.


I found out the reason for this request later that afternoon when my doorbell rang. Half of the under-12 residents of my neighborhood were standing on my doorstep.

***

P.S. Our pediatrician confirmed that Camber is at low risk for Lyme Disease. We’re keeping a close eye out for mysterious rashes nevertheless.


Did you get lice this year? Was it everything you hoped it would be?





59 comments

Anonymous said...

not everyone who is bitten by a lyme disease carrying tick gets the bullseye rash. my mom never got that rash, yet she ended with lyme disease serious enough that it got to the autoimmune stage and still has sideeffects almost 20 years later.

if you see the rash, take pictures and try to get a doctor to put her on an antibiotic.

Viv said...

Once, several years ago. Awful. Still traumatized. Now I am itching and must go shower and dry my hair until my scalp is pink and tender...and I never even had it, just the school kids.

Anonymous said...

Last spring my husband got bit by a tick. We never saw the tick. He had had flu like symptoms and was very achey for 2+ wks. Because we had a friend who had lymes, I suggested he should go to the doctor. He had 2 small pimple like marks on his lower back by then. The doctor didn't even wait for the blood work because it can take 6+ wks to even show pos. He was on strong antibiotics for 3 wks. The small marks got bigger and bigger and very sore. Just watch for any symptoms at all.

kimberly-327 said...

Wow...ick! I HATE ticks; I do love, however, that you got the camera to document the little vermin. You're so awesome!!

Laura said...

Long time lurker, first time poster. If your daughter gets lice or really you can treat now to help prevent. TEA TREE OIL! It works the best. My daughter had lice 1 time and that was all it took. They have shampoo with the tea tree oil, but I use just the plain oil. It can get expensive, but it's really worth it. I love that stuff!!

Jenglamgirl said...

Ewwww, Gross I am itching. Luckily my son has fairly short hair and has NOT and hopefully WILL NOT get lice! My daughter who hasn't started school (3 1/2), I am more worried about. They tend to love the long thick clean hair I hear. GROSS, I am itching and need to go now....

Martha said...

I had lice once...while serving my mission. I was living on an Indian reservation in AZ at the time. Almost all of the kids had lice there. Lovely memories. :)

Robin said...

Thanks! Now my head is itching and I need to go wash my hair....repeatedly.....

Lolli said...

Ugh! I have never had lice (me or my kids) but my son DID get a nasty case of Winter lyme disease last year (THat's a tough one, since kids stay covered all Winter, and I didn't catch the rash till it was BAD). Good luck!

AverageMom said...

Nope, no lice here. Which is shocking, since both Hubby and I are teachers. My MIL used to get scabies from school quite often. NASTY!!!!

Diva Ma said...

Thank goodness, lice is one thing that African Americans can rarely get, but sadly, we did get ringworm this year, in the scalp and it has been HECK getting rid of it!

Micki said...

We've had head lice twice this year. I've never had so much fun. I can't think of what is more fun than five cases of head lice. Seven cases? A trip to Disney World? I dream about head lice, it is that much fun.

Just discovered your site. You write how I think. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

my one and only lice adventure came the week my husband was away. as i was gathering all the bedclothes my kids(5,4,2) all started throwing up within the same hour and my sister-in-law called to see how things were going. fun times!

The Mad White Woman said...

April contracted lice a long time ago when she was in middle school. It was a nightmare. We had to wash everything she had touched in scalding hot water, and she had long hair. And wouldn't let me cut it. So we went through bottles of RidX. We thought it was gone and then she went to visit her grandmother for the summer and bam. She infested her grandmother's house as well. It took us almost 3 months to get rid of the little suckers. Luckily, or so I've been told, children who are mixed or of African-American descent do not get lice. Something about their hair being naturally oily that the lice can't cling to the hair. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I've heard WONDERFUL raves about this particular lice prevention/cure medication. You might want to bookmark it, just in case...
http://www.eves-best.com/all-natural-lice-remedy.htm

Rene said...

We had the wordt bought fo lice after my dson went to a birthday party with a bunch of little boys, on e had lice to beigin with then nine had lice at the end. Of course he spred it to all of his brother and sister. Now I have three kids with lice, but I don't know it yet. Now the worse part we were under extreme stress, we took the baby in (25 years ago and he is getting married in 2 weeks) and they discovered that he needed open heart surgery NOW. Called Relief Society and the kids were taken care. We left and I was gone for 3 weeks. Now back to the other 3 - they spred lice where ever they went, school, friends,church, to all the people kind enough to take them in during this time,by the time we were done the lice made it to 3 states! (We know that chain went down to about 50 kids and adults, that was just all we knew about)

soawesomeimightgetarrested said...

congratulations on the lice!!!

you have to have at least one episode of "lice-watch" to be in the experienced mom club:)

tics are scary.

Anonymous said...

In response to Laura - when I was little, there was a lice epidemic at our school, and my mom sat me and my sister down in the kitchen and rubbed the tea tree oil in, day after day. It lasted for what felt like FOREVER. The oil kept the lice away, kind of, but to this day I cannot stand the smell of tea tree oil - it gives me the willies.

Amy's Blog said...

No lice experience ((cross fingers, knock-on-wood)), but I do unfortunately have tick experience.

My 3yr old had a tick under the fold of a very private place. Yeah, that place. We took him to the pediatrician and it was the first time he'd ever seen a tick in that location. :) We did a round of antibiotics just to be safe and he's all good to go now, though there is still a dark spot where the tick was.

franticallysimple said...

You may already know this, but a teaspoon or so of tea-tree oil mixed in with a full bottle of shampoo will repel lice. If you use the shampoo that is. If you choose not to shampoo? Well, that will repel everyone. :)
(Including lice, who oddly like clean hair. Just not clean hair that smells like tea-tree oil.)

Tabitha (From Single to Married) said...

ohhh.. I hate ticks! I make my husband take care of them when we find them on our pets. :)

Carmen said...

I feel your pain. My son had a tick in his hair and my husband and I both freaked. It's just so icky seing a parasite on your precious child. When I remember the incident it seems like there was a lot of running around in circles and discussion about what to do before we actually pulled it off. I'm not really inexperienced with ticks, its just freaky when its on your kid.

Renny said...

Okay, for the longest time I didn't even realize that people could get ticks as well. I don't really know why I didn't realize it... since I knew there were other creepy crawlies in the world that liked to burrow themselves into human flesh (my dad grew up in Kansas and chiggers love him.) But, it was actually about a year ago when I read the book Marley and Me and he mentioned something about ticks that I realized they weren't just something dogs got. I've been horrified by the idea ever since. Here's hoping Camber doesn't get Lyme disease, or lice!

Anita said...

Thankfully, and I'm knocking on every piece of wood I own, lice and ticks have alluded our home! My oldest are now 15, and don't roam in any woods thankfully. My son is 11, and still behaving in risky behaviors like attending school and playing outside, the nerve!

I'm surprised, no picture of the actual nasty tick?
ICK!

STAY AT HOME MOMMY FROM MAINE said...

Yippee! Lice and ticks... my two favorite topics!!! LOL, kidding aside... I have been lucky enough to experience both with my savory children.
The ticks... any signs and symptoms get her to a dr for antibiotics. I've heard horror stories! My sunshine is fine now... but it does last forever in their system, yuck! You may want to look into spraying thier clothing with a permithacone spray (I think that's the spelling) and that fasionable look of socks over the pant legs. I called an pest company and had my woods sprayed for ticks, etc..

LICE... yuck! I have a total phobia over them now thanks. Keep looking for at least 2 weeks... it takes a while for the microscopic eggs to hatch to a visible size. We had a mutant strain that lasted forever. I found at last a combo that worked: Wash hair according to the directions on the ridx or whatever you use (nothing organic worked for us). Then before combing out soak their heads in white vinegar. Yup, vinegar! It disolves the glue they use to stick on the hair. Then use tea tree shampoo for preventive measures. I also think the metal comb I bought really helped.

I'm praying you guys don't get it. And if you do I hope the hairdresser cutting the first of your 3 children's hair isn't the one to find it, freak out, close the place down... leaving your baby with 1/2 a haircut!!!! I now have a phobia about getting our hair cut too!!! LOL!!!

The Mother said...

Just one little bitty tick?

We grew up with ticks, and chiggars, and tarantulas, and snakes, and ...

One little bitty tick.

COOL!

Jenny said...

I'm glad you found the tick. Our house backs to woods and I'm always afraid we will get ticks on us.

Skubaliscious said...

I had long hair as a kid...I didn't find my tick until it was the size of my thumb...

Bethany said...

I had lice as a kid...so did most of our small school-- it was NOT fun at all! I think I was about 9/10? As for the ticks, they are all over at my parents' place in rural Ohio. They aren't the ones that carry Lyme disease though.

Taylor Clan said...

I had three kids with lice at the same time. It was an absolute pandemic at our house. Completely awful! Two girls with long locks. I finally took all of their clothes and bedding to the laundromat (hotter dryer) and shaved my son's hair off.

Malea said...

My son had lice once, but the real carrier seems to be me. Whenever I travel anywhere third world, I bring a little somethin somethin back. I also had an engorged tick in my arm on my honeymoon. That was special.

Wtrfrmsky said...

I got lice for the first and only time (so far at least) last year. My son had lice and before I realized it, I cut his hair. Those little boogers got cold and found my head for warmth. One treatment and they were gone, but a week later I got the scabies! Talk about a fun month!

Gina said...

Lice goes through the elementary school where I work every year and although I've never gotten it, I get ridiculously itchy every time I hear the little bugs are back. I am literally scratching my head now. Ew.

Sandra said...

We have luckily not had lice this year, though there was a report of it in another 1st grade class at the school. I contracted lice when I was 18 from my now step-daughter. My mother had recently passed away, so I knew nothing about this phenomenon therefore it got really bad before I knew what I had. My hair was extremely long and my poor father went through each strand with that fine tooth comb while I was a complete basket case! God bless him!

Sandra

Maya said...

i remember when we got lice as kids. i was in middle school, and the principal honored a parent's request that she keep her daughter having lice secret, so soon enough it spread through the entire school. my parents couldn't get them to leave my sister's hair, so eventually they put vaseline throughout all our hair and made us wear shower caps to bed to suffocate the lice and their eggs.

it worked, but flour, soap, detergent, and a host of other things that should NEVER go in hair wouldn't clean out that vaseline. so, we all had to get our hair cut off and i spent the rest of the year (8th grade, mind you) being mistaken for a boy.

brenda in seattle said...

I had lice in my early 20's. It was terrible. I had to go to my mom's house so she could comb them out everyday. I felt them crawling around on my scalp. It took about 4 weeks to make them completely go away. After that I was sure that every tingle or tickle I felt on my head was the lice coming back. It took about a year to get over that.

Robin said...

During the summer I find a tick a day- either on a human, a cat or just crawling around. Two of the five people in this house have had Lyme, and both had the bulls-eye rash. I do recommend taking a picture of the rash if it shows up- my daughter's faded by the time we saw the doctor.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

No, not lice :-) But I have gotten the first tick for the year! Felt something crawling around my neck, so I got it before it bit me :-) Isn´t it nice with all fun diseases we can get from those little nice animals :-)
Christer.

Lindy said...

Oh my gosh - I head itches just reading this. My daughter got it, once, about three years ago. We are very versed in the non-risky behavior rules!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh yes.... Primary school teacher, and people wonder why I never wear my long hair down during the week.... Worst thing? We can't inform parents if there is a known infestation in the class because it "infringes the rights of the pupil who is carrying lice".... So it goes round and round and round. NICE.

Amy said...

I remember having lice when I was in the fifth grade. My mom cut off all my beautiful long hair. My kids haven't had it yet, but we live in Maine and ticks are a regular thing. We have a nightly tick inspection and I keep tweezers in my purse and in the car for the ones that escape the home de-ticking process!

jarca said...

years ago my kids got head lice all the time.i found that blow drying the girls hair every day that the heat killed the lice and they never got them again.
my son was getting them regularly also and i realized that in little leage they share baseball caps: i bought him his own baseball cap and told him not to share it that cured his getting them.
a simple sulution and we never had to deal with them again.

Dancing Hula in the Sunset said...

My daughter had lice. It was when I was on maternity leave. She and the baby shared a room. There were a few times I'd think "Gee, my daughter's bed looks nice and comfy" and the baby and I would nap there. Neither of us got lice, but my daughter did. We went to hair-faries, which is a de-lousing studio. They're expensive but you can claim FSA money and they do a good job.

rachie! said...

Yuck! No lice for me! But I did have Lyme last year, for 4 months and it sucked the worst suckiness you can ever imagine. Def. watch for a rash at the bite site, but only 40% of people will get one. Watch for her saying her muscles are sore at all (especially starting at the bite site, though I guess it would be weird to have sore head muscles), being overly tired, or feeling flu-like. She will have one of those symptoms in the next few weeks if she's got it! Antibiotics should knock it out if you catch it right away.
Still, yuck on the lice.
YUCK!

Adam, Lynsie and Tristan! said...

I have I never had a tick. When I was about 7 my little sis got one. I am OBSESSED with thinking I have a tick. I have my husband check me for one daily. If I see a tick, even on TV, I start to feel itchy and worry that I have one. Besides that, I am a pretty normal person. I can't believe I just told you that. I hope it made you smile! :)

The Cranes said...

Seeing that you already have 44 comments, I'm guessing people have had the unfortunate run-in with lice as we have. It hasn't been this year (thank GOD!), but last year. My then 3rd grader was sent home I think about 4 times. We were certainly doing our part here at home to make sure no one else got it (and they didn't!), but she kept picking it up at school. So from March to June, every day she wore her hair in a ponytail sprayed diligently with Aqua Net so that none of those buggers got in again. It WORKED! No ponytails this year--I just assume the kid that was infecting her last year is not in her class this year :)

Sarah said...

I was surprised to learn that it's the tick's body that carry's the disease and as long as they don't get their whole body in, the person should be fine. Also, you're supposed to just pull it out with tweezers and eventually the head will come out. Really gross, I know.

Anonymous said...

I got lice regularly as a kid due to the high amounts of poor children in our school. Once I was sent home and my mother was out of town. My father not knowing what to do washed my hair with simple green in his shop sink. It didn't kill the lice but turned everything green, my forehead, clothes everything except my hair.

J said...

Not a mom, but an assistant teacher. If you think your kiddos are at higher risk for head bugs (ick) blow dry their hair. Often. Bugs hate heat. The drier will kill nits--not if they hatch into buggies, but will kill the nits. ICK! lol also, a New Englander--you can always ship the tick off to get analyzed to see! Good luck. We've had people get lyme here in the dead of winter, it's possible. Have fun "picking" at your kids. Now, you really have an excuse to do so.

Heather said...

No lice, but your story did make my head itch!

Anonymous said...

I've heard that tea tree oil shampoo is a good way to keep the bugs away, however I just googled it and according to wikapedia it is good for fleas too. who knows.

Kara and Theo said...

I got a tick behind my ear when I was young and we were visiting family in VA. After my Dad found it and pulled it off I asked if anything was going to happen to me and he said, "We'll know by morning.". Needless to say I did not sleep well that night.

Taryn said...

YES!!! My kids have lice AGAIN!!They got it a couple of years ago and it took almost a full year to get it completely gone. I almost burst into tears when one of them came home with it again.

Angel said...

I never got lice in school. I had to wait until college to get it. I got it this year and still once a month buy the shampoo and fine comb my hair to be sure.

Heather in CA said...

So this may have been addressed, but since she officially ran away on Saturday, did she come home just for tick removal?? Just curious.

Shewinn8 said...

Ahh.... the days of the lice outbreaks in elementary school....the moronic school nurse who would go from head to head with the same pencils to lift and examine thereby helping the vermin move....the caustic shampoos and washing everything in hot water, vacuuming and explaining why we were suffocating Mr. Kitty the beloved stuffed animal in a trash bag for a week...."can he come out now"?? (said over and over) ...do I miss those days?
hahahahahahahahahahahaha
(maniacal laughter)
Enjoyed the post though! Btw: How did you get the tick out?

Diane said...

No lice or ticks here, but we are dealing with molluscum contagiosum. I hate it and it sucks. My youngest is going to the dermatologist and his first medicine cost $300.00! Hope your kids never get it.

Anonymous said...

Oh Lice one of my biggest fears as a parent. It came true this past fall. I wanted to die. I treated my sons head with RID it did not do much. Then I found a remedy on-line that worked. You put Lysterine on their heads and put their hair in a shower cap for two hours. Then you put white vinigar on and leave on for a while two. The nasty little buggers comb right out. I did not see another one after that. I hope your kids do not get it.

STAY AT HOME MOMMY FROM MAINE said...

Hi... I tried the lysterine trick last year (as You saw my earlier comment) and it didnt' work... and the kids hated it, they were so sticky!! The vinegar was awesome, use it after the rid.

Tried the mayo too... that can be used after the rid and vinegar... but tea tree oil is better

Anonymous said...

I put teatree oil in our shampoo to keep y kids from getting headlice. It works!!!!