Think twice about what you use to treat Head Lice

Think twice about what you use to treat head lice…

We were shocked when we read this story published in the website. We really want to emphasize to think twice before you buy a prescription or over the counter head lice product. Many of these products have chemicals and pesticides that can greatly affect your family’s health.

Read Jesse’s story below… you will be shocked.


Jesse’s Story


When treating my child for head lice, I never thought about the harm it might be bringing to him. I felt only the anxiety all mothers feel when they discover bugs in their child’s hair. It never occurred to me that a physician-prescribed shampoo could be a dangerous and potentially fatal pesticide.

Telling our family’s story is extremely difficult for me. It requires me to confront my demons. It is agonizing to accept my role in my son’s pain and suffering. The memories are vivid and haunt me through the night. If I think about my role in Jesse’s pain and suffering, I’ll never make it through the day. I fought so hard to keep Jesse alive; it is a daily challenge to handle the reality that I may have contributed to his death.

Our nightmare began in 1984. There was an outbreak of head lice in our local elementary school. Several children were discovered to have lice, including Jesse’s older brother Jason. Our children’s pediatrician prescribed Kwell shampoo with refills. He never mentioned it being a pesticide product..advising only that it could cause skin and eye irritation. The doctor ironically suggested “just to be safe” I treat the entire family, even though Jason had been the only member afflicted. I followed his recommendation shampooing my husband, myself, Jason (age 7) and little Jesse (age 2). I repeated the application on the following day as the prescription instructed.

Approximately two months later, Jesse was playing “Superman” and fell to the floor with extreme stomach pain. I rushed him to the emergency room. My whole world changed that night. A liver and spleen scan revealed enlargement. Blood work indicated unusually high amounts of lymphocytes and white blood cells. Blast cells were also present. A bone marrow aspiration test confirmed our fears – A.L.L. – acute lymphobastic leukemia.

Jesse was hospitalized and received chemotherapy for six weeks until he achieved remission. During this time, the doctors asked many questions.. “Had there been a family history of Leukemia?” “What about chemical or electromagnetic field exposures?” There were no questions concerning head lice shampoo or anything similar. The connection never even crossed my mind.

Jesse sailed through the last of his chemotherapy, and remained in remission. He had been off treatment for over a year, and cancer free for several years when he started elementary school. Our family and his doctors were feeling optimistic that he had beaten his cancer.

A note from the school nurse was sent home a few months into his first school year. There had been cases of head lice reported. My reaction was panic. “Not again!” I brought out the lice shampoo and treated my family…as the doctor had said, “just to be safe”. Two months later Jesse relapsed. I am very sad to say this scenario played out two more times within the next five years. The fact that I did not get the connection is the guilt I must live with the rest of my life.

Jesse’s final relapse occurred after a bone marrow transplant. When the doctor called, he had more than the gut wrenching news of my son’s relapse. The doctor explained that this relapse had been very abnormal and unusual. In fact, only a handful of similar ones had been documented world-wide. Jesse’s relapse had occurred within the new donor marrow. He had received marrow from his baby sister Bobbie Sue – her marrow was female XX chromosomes. This was leukemia in the new XX marrow. This was scientifically profound because relapse by definition is “reoccurrence of the original cancer cells not eradicated by chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery”. There was none of Jesse’s old marrow remaining. This was not the original cancer: it was a new cancer in the new marrow.

My reaction to this news was complete panic. My concerns were that my daughter now also had leukemia. The doctor assured me this was not the case at all – Bobbie Sue was fine. He went on to explain that this relapse, however, did strongly indicate an environmental trigger. He asked me to try and recall if Jesse had been exposed to any substance prior to initial diagnosis and relapse. The only commonality I could remember was I had used the shampoo before his diagnosis and each subsequent relapse. It was very hard for me to believe, however, that head lice shampoo was a carcinogen. I embarked on research to prove to myself that I could not have possibly done anything to harm my son. My heart broke when I discovered how this shampoo was a neurotoxin pesticide and inherently dangerous. There was evidence strongly suggesting a link between this pesticide product, cancer and neurological problems.

Armed with this knowledge, I was convinced we could win this battle. I would help Jesse get well and protect him from this dangerous trigger. Unfortunately, I was too late. He passed away September 11, 1993. Jesse was and remains my little soul mate. There is not a day that passes that I do not think of him and deeply miss him.

Our family has felt betrayed by a system we assumed would protect us. Prior to using these FDA approved pesticide shampoo treatments, all members of our family were healthy. Following the exposures, Jesse was diagnosed with acute leukemia and passed away 09-11-93, Dale (Jesse’s father) was diagnosed with chronic leukemia – he passed away 02-12-98 and Jason (Jesse’s brother) has a diagnosis of chloracne, a condition associated with pesticide exposure.

For years I was unable to do anything but grieve, but I now know that it is critical to get this information out to other families so they can make the safest choices possible. I made a decision not to focus on how differently the lives of my family might have been if this information had reached us sooner. After careful thought, I decided to take that energy and direct it towards trying to educate and hopefully protect other children and their families by working with the National Pediculosis Association to promote their message of pesticide-free manual removal of head lice and nits. Jesse would want it that way. 

Head Lice Prevention Products

Kare 11 Logo

We are known as the head lice experts. It’s the season when kids are bringing notes home from school warning of head lice outbreaks, and many parents want to know what head lice products work.

Kare 11 reached out to Ladibugs, Inc. for us to give advice on what works and what doesn’t.

It is very important to know some myths about head lice:


Lice is the result of poor hygiene.

Reality: One of the oldest beliefs is that head lice prefer “dirty kids.” It’s simply not true. Head lice actually prefer clean hair to dirty hair. What they are attracted to is blood.


Lice are hard to get.

Reality: Head lice do not jump, fly or swim. They are good crawlers however, and easily move from person to person in as little as 30 seconds. This makes young kids particularly susceptible because they are in close contact in schools.


Lice-infested items must be washed in hot water.

Reality: It is not necessary to wash everything that comes in contact with the lice. 30 minutes in the dryer will dehydrate and kill lice. Vacuuming floors and furniture should do the trick, too — no need to disinfect the whole house.


No itch means no lice.

Reality: While the most common symptom is itching of the head and neck, the only sure fire way to diagnose head lice is through thorough head checks. If you know of an outbreak in your child’s school or camp, check your child daily and use preventive products.


There’s a lice epidemic.

Reality: Though there is no evidence of a current head lice epidemic, the bugs have been getting harder to eliminate and have grown increasingly resistant to prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies.


Home remedies like mayonnaise and petroleum jelly are effective treatments for lice.

Reality: While using chemical-free methods for killing lice is a better alternative, home remedies like these are not proven to do the job. All-natural products made specifically to treat lice are the best option.


Duluth schools revise head lice notification policy


Duluth, MN ( – The Duluth School Board tackled a problem head-on Monday night surrounding the district policy for head lice.

The change comes after concerned parents wanted more transparency from the district regarding how many cases of head lice are reported in a classroom.

Prior to Monday’s meeting, the policy required the district to notify parents of head lice when at least three cases of head lice were reported in a classroom.

Last week, parents formally requested the district reduce that number from three to one, a decision the school board approved tonight at its regular scheduled meeting.

Parents say they are pleased with the board’s proactive position on the health of Duluth students.

“Lice are becoming more resistant to drugs, the chemical treatments. There are more kids in schools nowadays, the problem has become a bigger problem. Not only that, but lice tends to run in cycles and right now we are having a higher cycle of head lice and it’s just really important that the school would ramp up their information and education,” said parent Stacey Dimberio.

“Think about checking their kids once a week, especially during the winter months and things like that to just make sure their kids are healthy and the classroom is happy,” said Tom Kasper, Duluth School Board.

According to the CDC, head lice are most commonly spread through direct head to head contact. Head lice can also be spread through sharing of clothing including hats other clothing and by sharing pillows.

An estimated six to 12 million head lice infestations occur each year in the United States among children three to 11 years old.

The new head lice policy will go into effect beginning on Wednesday at all Duluth schools.

Jeremy Brickley

The Holidays: A Bit More Giving, a Bit Less Getting

NYT- The Motherlode



Ron Lieber

Some people react to my obsession with parenting, money and values by assuming that it has little to do with them. Take my friends in a low-key Midwestern state, who are both public-sector employees. Wasn’t this topic, they wondered, something that only affluent suburban parents or private-school people needed to worry about?

But then came the holidays. The spending. The (endless) wrapping. The grandparents’ determination to grant every wish. And the management of their older child’s high expectations, which seemed to come out of nowhere. Then, they got it.

So how do we begin to change the tenor of the season without becoming an army of Scrooges?

One way to start is to make generosity part of the holiday routine. Below are some ideas worth trying. But if you have others that you’ve tested in your own family, please put them in the comments or jot me a note, and I’ll highlight a few of them in a future post.

1) THE TOY GIVEAWAY This tip comes from my cousin Celine Faccini-Krimston, the mother of two boys and an early-childhood educator herself. When her kids get new toys, they must also pick out some old ones and give them away to other children who don’t have as many.

There is a basic logic to this: If you want new things, then you’re probably done with the old ones. But the values piece is key, and she’s driven it home over the years by having her kids take the toys they’ve outgrown and hand-deliver them to organizations that will put them to good use. One recent recipient is a school for homeless children.

2) THE BLANK CHECK If you give children money so they can buy whatever they want most, consider the possibility of sending two checks instead of one.

Make out one check to the child. With the second check, however, leave the “To” section blank. Then, send instructions, asking the child to give the money to a person or organization that’s trying to do some good in the world. You might ask the child to send you a note explaining where the money ended up, so the giving also becomes an exercise in articulating what moves him most and why. Including a self-addressed stamped envelope can help the recipient remember to close the loop.

If you’re the gift-card type, you could try sending one from Donors Choose, which allows a recipient to direct money to teachers who have made specific requests for materials that their town or city cannot provide.

I’ve done this with my daughter, who happened to be in a tie-dye phase at the time. On a lark, we did a search on the site for those keywords, and we were able to help a classroom full of kids in New York City create their own psychedelic shirts.

3) FAMILY GIVING If you’re like many families, you probably give away a chunk of your charitable budget at the end of the year. That’s when the holiday spirit (or the tax-deduction deadline) may move you most, and nonprofits are likely to be soliciting heavily.

So here’s something to try: Keep every one of the direct-mail pieces that lands in your mailbox. Then, sit down and review them with your offspring. What appeals to them and why? Who needs help that they didn’t even know about?

This year, my wife and I plan to let our 7-year-old daughter help decide how we divide our giving budget. We’re going to take 100 pennies and divide them on our dining room table to show how we allocated our donations last year among our alma maters, our synagogue, her school and social-service agencies here and abroad. Then, we’re going to see whether she thinks the pennies are divided correctly and let her move some of them if she chooses to. That way, she’ll be in on the decision making. (Throughout the year, she makes her own decisions about where to give away part of her allowance.)

There are other ways to handle this too. You might simply hand over 5 percent of your charity budget to your child or children and let them decide where it goes. If you have more than one child, you could ask that they decide together, or you could split the money and let each child do what she or he wants. Every year, consider increasing the budget a bit so that you’re less in control.

In our family, we’ve turned over the last night of Hanukkah to giving, not getting. But you could do this Dec. 23 or Dec. 26 or the day after Thanksgiving or whenever it’s convenient.

Or perhaps you already have. If so, how did it go?


Ron Lieber is the Your Money columnist for The New York Times. He’s currently on leave to write “The Opposite of Spoiled,” a book about parenting, money, values and raising the kinds of children all parents want to push out into the world, no matter how much money they have. He hosts regular conversations about these topics on his Facebook page and welcomes comments here or privately, via his Web site.

Head Lice at School

Head lice at school. Has it ever happened to you? How do you deal with it?

This post is in respond to the new policies in Washington state on head lice. The article “Should kids with head lice be allowed at school?” on CBS News talks about the “more” lenient” head lice policies at school that are bugging some parents. 


Head Lice treatments

 Lice are “icky”, and they can cause an infectious process when children have a heavy infestation and itch profusely– causing reddened areas at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.

Lice are easily passed between 1 child to the next.  It only takes 30 seconds of head to head contact for them to be transmitted.  Sending notes home to parents is a fabulous reminder for parents to check their children for head lice.  It is just like getting a strep throat notice home, if your child complains of a sore throat, you will take them more seriously if you have received a note.  As with head lice if you just received a note and you notice your child itching you are more apt to check!
Lice is difficult to treat with the commonly used OTC medications and even prescription medications.  Studies have shown that the OTC treatments are definitely not 100% effective and there is nearly no efficacy on the nit.  This is why there is a need to retreat after 7 days (after the nits hatch and there are more live bugs!).  Thus exposing children to more harsh chemicals!!
Parents are missing work to take care of the issue and will make investments in companies such as Ladibugs, Inc. who uses a FDA cleared medical device along with their product line with an all natural approach while others are at there wits end on how to manage the overwhelming situation.
Parents NEED to know about the problem in the class room in order to check their child.  Parents need to be educated.  This is not a hygiene issue.  Children need to be educated about sharing hats, helmets etc.   Lice is only 2nd to the common cold in what children bring home from school.
It’s time to stop trying to hide that issue and face it with education surrounding lice and their life cycle and ways to eliminate the issue in a all natural way to protect our children and ways to prevent.
by Rachel Knutson

November is Child Safety Protection Month

Every parent tries to be aware of the dangers that their children face every day, including ensuring that they are safe in their own home. However, no matter how proactive you are in child-proofing your home, you may not realize some everyday items could present unknown dangers.

Kids are quick, curious and fast!  And sometimes, those traits can get them in “trouble“.  Here are five things to consider when child proofing your home to help prevent as many injuries as possible:

  1. Workout Equipment SafetyNearly 25,000 kids are injured every year because of workout equipment. Be sure to keep your exercise equipment in a locked room, remove and hide the safety key in a place your children will not find it (this way the machine will not turn on), and put your weights in a place your children cannot access them.
  2. Bathroom Safety40,000 emergency room visits a year are made by children who suffered injuries in their own bathroom. Make sure you have safety caps on all prescriptions and medicines and put all cleaning products in a locked cabinet or up high out of their reach. Never leave young children alone in the bathtub or near water and keep the floors dry so your kids do not slip.
  3. In the Bedroom. Almost 10,000 babies and infants are injured in cribs and playpens each year.  To keep your kids safe from the potential dangers in their own beds, be sure to check the furniture so that it is steady and there are no sharp edges. Don’t use any type of plastic sheets on their beds, never tie pacifiers or bibs around your child’s neck before putting them to bed, and avoid cribs with cutouts that a child can slip through or become stuck in.
  4. Living Room DangersThe TV is a frequent cause of injuries that are treated in the emergency room. Make sure your television in out of your kids reach so they are unable to pull it over on themselves. Cords from blinds or drapes, and other rope-like treatments, present a strangulation danger for your kids, so be sure they are put up high so your kids are unable to get their hands on them.
  5. Be Safe in the Kitchen. The kitchen contains more dangerous items than any other room in your house and is the most dangerous to your children. When using the stove, always use the back burners and be sure the handles are turned inward. Keep your kids away from blenders and beaters; many kids have gotten their hair and fingers tangled up, so be sure to remind them pull their hair back and not to touch. Keep your cleaning supplies out of reach or in a locked cabinet, this way your kids can’t get into any chemicals that could be fatal to them.

Many children like to help their parents cook in the kitchen. Before you allow them to help out, make sure you go over the rules that you have set to keep them safe. Never let your kids cook alone until they are at an appropriate age and have your permission to use the appliances without your supervision.

Top trick-or-treating safety tips

Originally Published by

Dex Tuttle

At 2 years old, it took my daughter, Quinnlyn, exactly one house to figure out how the whole trick-or-treating thing worked. That’s when I fell into a parenting crisis.

After much scrutiny, she chose to be Supergirl for Halloween in 2014. She had no clue who that was — and still doesn’t — but dang it, the costume looked cool. We went out in South Minneapolis with a friend of mine — whose daughter was a dragon — and had, in my biased opinion, the two cutest trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood.

It was fun to watch. We explained what she was going to do and sent her up to the first house. After that, she was in the zone and we had to reel her back in when she tried to approach houses without the front lights on. I was in true parental awe as I watched her embrace this new activity and basked in the glow of the girls’ laughter and smiles as we made our way down the block.

Suddenly, reality set in and I started wondering what I was teaching my daughter: “strangers + candy = AWESOME!” As I wondered how to explain to a 2-year-old that this is only a one-day-a-year thing — even though she didn’t know what a “year” is — and that she shouldn’t take things from strangers, though everyone is a “stranger” to her, I was awoken to the traffic whizzing by on the busy street behind me.

That’s one of many moments where the balance of parenting was woefully tricky; it’s easy to get lost in a child’s joy and happiness. I believe that I have a responsibility to protect Quinnlyn’s sense of imagination, and what better way to explore imagination than pretending to be a superhero for a day? Halloween shifted from just a fun day to an important moment in her development; how quickly I forgot to make sure she had boundaries and understood where risks existed.

It’s easy to get lost in surprise at how much their young minds understand and, in turn, forget about all the things they don’t. After all, it’s not easy to immerse them in an environment that’s full of “fake” danger — scary creatures hiding in the darkness that light up and move as you approach, or ghoulish costumes designed to turn the strongest of stomachs — while teaching them to respect real danger.

  • Talk to your kids about Halloween before they go out — give them boundaries and teach them that not everything out there is designed to be fun.
  • Wear reflective clothing and make sure everyone has a light with them.
  • Supervise children at all times and monitor interactions with people who answer the door.
  • Cross the street only at intersections and be sure drivers see you.
  • Inspect all candy and “treats” before they eat any and throw away anything that’s opened or looks suspicious.

This year, I’ll be taking my little zebra rider out into the neighborhood, but I’ll make sure our Halloween experience isn’t a total zoo.

Read the Full Article

Raising Environmentally Aware Kids: An Essay by T.A. Barron, Author of ‘Atlantis Rising’

Parents Magazine


New York Times bestselling author of the young adult Merlin series, T.A. Barron, loves the earth–and often writes about it. His new book, Atlantis Rising is the story of the magical island of Atlantis–not its destruction this time, but instead, its creation. This is the first of a trilogy. As a writer who cares deeply about the environment, Barron wrote the following essay about how to get our kids to care, too. “We all know the bad news: The planet is seriously suffering from all sorts of environmental abuses. Some people remain stuck in denial. And kids, our last best hope for the future, are being hammered by depressing news and the overwhelming scale of environmental problems – even as they are spending less time out in nature. In the face of all this, can parents, teachers and others who care about our children do anything? Are there any ways to enlighten as well as empower young people to help protect the air, land, water, and creatures of the Earth? The answer is Yes. As a dad, I’ve learned a lot from my kids – starting with how little I really know. But one of the most important things they’ve taught me is that raising environmentally aware young people doesn’t start with learning. No … it starts with loving. Before kids can be expected to understand the facts about our planet, they need to feel an enduring bond with the marvelous places and trees and birds and animals who share that planet with us. We are emotional beings – so we can’t ask kids to protect and steward something they don’t truly love. That love comes, first, through a child’s experiences in nature. No matter whether that happens in a patch of grass at a city park or somewhere in deeper wilderness – it’s a time of magic. All kids need is a chance to play in soil or sand or a pile of leaves. To explore a quiet glade (with no electronics to intrude). To discover a mossy stream or a pair of baby raccoons or a piece of petrified wood that’s a million times older than the child herself. My family, for more than 20 years, has watched butterflies emerge from their cocoons each summer – a thrilling experience for everyone. All these are teachable moments, offering opportunities to learn more about connectedness, natural patterns, transformation, evolution, water sources, or geologic time. But most of all … they are opportunities to wonder, discover, and love. When that emotional bond is secure, then it’s time to explain the serious environmental challenges we face – with honesty but also a light touch. The goal is to impart understanding, not despair. So talk about the links between the purity of water, the health of frogs, and the survival of humankind. Discuss the essential wisdom of not fouling our nest, preserving the complex web of natural systems that support us all. Finally, look at some photos of the Earth from space – and then consider how unique and precious our lonely planet really is. Add all that together, along with nature’s unending ability to delight and surprise … and you’ll have kids who are truly motivated to help save the Earth. Now comes the hardest part – maintaining hope. In our troubled times, this is difficult for any caring adult. But it’s even more difficult for young people, who haven’t seen as many winters followed by springtime. The best way to keep kids’ hope alive, I believe, is to convey the idea that every person matters. That every human being – even a child – has the power to make choices that can cumulatively make a difference. How to do that? Certainly not through lectures or sermons! Instead, just share stories. Whether true tales of remarkable people or fictional tales of unlikely heroes – such stories are lifelines that keep us afloat. They connect us to people who have faced enormous challenges and found the courage to persevere – and sometimes, to triumph. Hope often eludes us, especially in a world that is sometimes darkened by the clouds of despair. But hope is resilient, like a wildflower in the harshest mountain storm. It can survive, and maybe even flower beautifully. And if hope survives … so will we.”

Signs of Head Lice

Child itching scalp. Itchy head. Irritated scalp. Or maybe just “the note” from the school nurse. These are the telltale signs that lice may be headed your way. Every year, these wingless parasites infest 6 million to 12 million children ages 3 to 12, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Kids often get it in September because they are back in school or have recently returned from summer camp,” says Sally Kelly, R.N., a school nurse who makes lice-removal house calls in and around Chatham, New Jersey. Pay special attention when you brush your child’s hair at the beginning of the school year, so you can catch any problems early. Knowing this background info will help you get rid of them if they decide to pay a visit.

child itching scalp

A Lousy Life

Head lice live only on the human head, feeding on blood several times a day, and must remain close to the scalp to survive. Louse eggs are called nits. Nits are oval-shaped (think of a knot in a thread) and so small that they’re sometime mistaken for dandruff. They’re usually yellow to white. A female louse can lay up to eight eggs per day, firmly cementing them to the hair shaft less than 1 centimeter from the scalp. The eggs hatch in about a week, and their dull-yellow shells remain on the hair shaft.

A newly hatched nymph looks like an adult head louse, but it’s about the size of a pinhead. They become adults in a week, growing to the size of a sesame seed, with six clawed legs. Head lice are tan to grayish-white in color. A louse can live up to 30 days on a child’s head. To survive, it must feed on blood several times each day. Without these “meals,” it will die within 48 hours.

Signs of Lice

When a child has head lice, he will probably complain of an itchy scalp or will scratch his head, particularly at the nape of his neck, perhaps because it tends to be a warmer part of the scalp. If your school sends home a note about a head-lice outbreak, examine your child’s head, even if he’s not itching. “Kids can itch, because most will develop an allergy to louse saliva,” says Kelly. “But not everyone develops the allergy. My daughter didn’t itch at all. I was just putting her hair in a ponytail, and I saw a bug.” Lice are sensitive to light and will scramble away when you see them. “They crawl fast,” Kelly says. “They’re not like a tick that just sits there, feeding. It’s easier to find the nits, so look for those first. Nits are more likely to be within 1 centimeter of the scalp; if they’re farther from the scalp than that, they’re almost always hatched or dead.


Source: Parents Magazine

by Jennifer Wilson

Turning 40 ~ In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Two weeks ago I was spending a fabulous 40th birthday weekend in Madison. This age change has had me thinking a lot about health & what I need to do to be around for another 40 years. I had my OB appointment all lined up for the Monday after my birthday. I finished up with my doctor and she said, “Now, go get a Mammogram…Happy Birthday”. I decided to walk over to the Jane Brattain breast clinic for a walk-in appointment so that I could get this mammogram off my check-list.
Monday – First mammogram of my life.

Tuesday – Got a call from the breast clinic saying that they found a mass.

Wednesday – Go back to clinic for 6 more special mammogram pictures, a 1/2 hour ultrasound, and a needle biopsy.

Thursday – Back to clinic for 2 more mammograms, a core biopsy (ouch), an ultrasound, and to have a metal spring injected into the tumor in my breast.

Friday – get a call saying that the tumor does NOT have cancer, BUT…I have a rare tumor that can hide cancer behind it.

TODAY ~ Just two weeks after the first mammogram of my life, I am going to have a radio-active seed injected into my breast, next to the metal spring already there, and then am going to the hospital for a LUMPECTOMY.

I am telling you my story because when the clinic called me to let me know they found a mass I felt kicked in the gut, shocked. I am telling you this because I am Everywoman just like you are. Regardless of the pathology, I am convinced that the mammogram I got for my 40th Birthday may have saved my life.

My Breast Cancer Awareness Story, Be Well….

*for those of who who see my kids during the day…they are unaware of what is going on…I will share it with them eventually.



By Amy