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A Customer’s Thank you Note left us Speechless

We have a grateful clients page in our website, but this testimonial left us speechless and thought we should share it on our blog. The below testimonial was sent to us by a grateful mom. Notes like this reinforce Ladibugs mission: to provide our customers with pesticide-free head lice products made with the highest quality.

“Hello…Just last Friday, my 10 year old daughters 4th grade class had a HUGE lice outbreak!! They sent everyone home early to take care of it!!  My Daughter is in a mainstream class but is deaf and with her hearing aids she can hear (and speak) like a “typical” child!! When I was called at home to come pick her up I panicked!! Not because of her and I how she would cope with the treatment but I also have a 13 year old Autistic/Deaf/Non-Verbal son (my husband and I are not deaf but that is a whole different story)!! How could I explain the situation to him?? How was he going to handle his home, his sanctuary, turned upside down with this issue??

  I had seen your product at a Great Clips and headed right over to purchase it. I purchased the Elimination Kit for her (I thought I saw a nit so if you see one, I knew more were around), the Prevention kit for the family (after checking everyone we did not have it) and several bottles of the shampoo and conditioner and spray. It was a costly purchase but I had to do it to make sure these little “buggers” did not stay or come back!!
  I was so nervous using it on my son but turns out he LOVED it!! I was worried that the product might have a ‘mediciney’ smell that he would react to but he was fine!! What he especially loved was the mint smell from the spray!! I followed directions and vacuumed and sprayed everything that couldn’t be laundered or put in the dryer and he really enjoyed the smell, As did my daughter, because she received a lot of compliments when she returned to school!! Everyone is now using it!!
  Thanks Again for making products that have turned a stressful time in our families life to a more positive one!!”

Susan 

Head lice trend: ‘Selfies’ are causing head lice

It doesn’t matter your age, gender or income– head lice can still get you.

Rachel Knutson, from Ladibugs Inc. stopped by KSTP to talk about this new head lice trend: selfies.

As teens join their head to take their photo for Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, among other social media channels, they are capturing more than a photo, they are passing along head lice and causing an increase in head lice cases in Minnesota.

Watch the interview with KSTP’s Eric Kahnert:

 

KSTP_Feb 2014

Ladibugs

https://www.ladibugsinc.com/dehydrated-head-lice-looks-like/

Lice evolve faster than their human and chimp hosts

L.A. Times

By Geoffrey Mohan

 

 

Human and chimpanzee head lice

 

 

When humans and chimpanzees parted ways about 5 million to 7 million years ago, they took their head lice with them. But since that mutual divergence, those lice have evolved far more rapidly than their primate hosts, according to a new study.

The head-scratching study, published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was the first to compare genomes of these primates and their blood-sucking parasites, and offers a window into how the pace of evolution can vary considerably, even between co-evolving species.

“What we found out is the lice are in fact evolving faster than the primates across the entire genome,” said Julie Allen, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the authors of the paper. “At basic DNA level, they’re evolving about 14 times faster, which is really fast.”

A closer comparison of the DNA that is changing most rapidly also suggests that the same genes may have been crucial to both host and parasite over those millions of years of cohabitation, according to the study.

Geneticists sleuthing out the traces of evolution at the molecular level focus on substitutions among the lettered base pairs (A, C, G, T) that make up the rungs of nuclear DNA. In this case, they scrutinized such substitutions in 1,534 actively coding genes common to all four genomes.

“Those genes have a common ancestor a long, long time ago,” Allen said. “Presumably, they’re important in the function of these organisms. We just don’t know exactly what they do.”

Because different combinations of base pairs can code the same protein, though, not all swaps are created equal. For the lice, a lot of swaps didn’t change the protein, in fact.

But across their genomes, the primates and their irritating guest had an important phenomenon in common, the study found.

“The genes that are evolving faster in the lice are also the ones that are evolving faster in the primates, and those involve changes that actually affect the protein – changes that could make a difference in how the protein functions,” Allen said. That correlation, Allen noted, strongly suggests there was selective pressure applied to both host and parasite at those gene locations.

“So, some genes that are really, really important in lice are likely many of the same ones that are really, really important in primates,” Allen said.

The simplest explanation for the overall accelerated pace of evolution for the lice species could be that they had more generations in which to experience change – they live just 30 days. But the researchers can’t discount the possibility of selection “relaxation.”

“Lice are really interesting, in that they have really small genomes, have lost their wings and have really reduced eyes,” Allen said. “So, potentially there are a lot of genes that just aren’t that important for them anymore.”

What all these genetic changes have meant to either host or parasite is not well known. Even for “priority” species such as humans and our chimp relatives, scientists don’t fully understand what every gene does and how they interact. Not surprisingly, the genome of lice has not been a high scientific priority, either. No one had even sequenced the chimp lice genome before this study.

And how does one get the chimp lice, exactly? They must be picked off the chimps, a task delegated to veterinarians at the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda.


Our First Year Supporting The Toys for Tots Campaign

Kare 11 Logo                                                                             Toys-For-Tots-Logo-300x102

This year was Ladibugs first year joining Kare 11’s Toys for Tots campaign. It was very cold outside, but we had a blast. We collected 150 toys to be able to make a child smile this Christmas. Thank you for all of your support!

Watch the Clip

Toys for Toys--Ladibugs,Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

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 headlice.org 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:

Myth:

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.

Myth:

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.

Myth:

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.

Myth:

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.

Myth:

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.

Myth:

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 (NNCNOW.com) – 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

By RON LIEBER

 

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