Monday, January 21, 2019

Getting Rid of Head Lice: Treatment Options and Remedies

Getting a head lice diagnosis for your child can seem like the worst hair day imaginable for any parent. Many parents are frequently at a loss as to how the pesky bugs hitched a ride in their little ones’ scalps especially considering that lice are wingless creatures that cannot fly like mosquitoes or even jump like fleas. But don’t fear! There are several ways you can go about getting rid of these tiny sized insects.

Where Do Lice Come From?
If you suspect a case of lice infestation in your child, you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there’s an estimated 6-12 million cases of head lice in the U.S. alone each year. Even the famous Cleopatra owned an elaborate set of nit combs, proving that lice know no class barrier! DNA testing has shown that human beings have been host to these creepy-crawly parasites for thousands of years, and the two species continue being closely acquainted.

Contrary to popular belief, head and body lice do not spread easily. Lice can only spread by crawling and are only capable of surviving outside a human host for no more than 24 hours. Lice mostly spread through direct head-to-head contact or sometimes through shared items like hats and brushes. Common situations that lead to the spreading of head lice in children include:
  • Sitting in close proximity with other infected children, friends, family members or strangers
  • Sleeping in the same bed with other kids e.g. during a slumber party
  • Sharing towels, pillows, hats, combs, brushes etc.
The presence of lice is not an indication of unclean conditions at your home. You don’t need to call pest control, fumigate your house or even treat your pets for lice.

How to Diagnose Head Lice Infection
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the gold standard for diagnosing head lice is through a visual inspection of the scalp and hair for signs of adult lice, their nymph (hatched young ones) or nits. To check for lice, lubricate your child’s hair with a standard hair conditioner then comb through using a fine-toothed comb or nit comb. Live lice can often be seen crawling slowly through the scalp and hair while nits appear as small white objects.

Another tell-tale sign is itching of the scalp. Lice bites cause an allergic reaction resulting in itching of the skin though this might not happen with a light infestation. Other common symptoms include:
  • Irritability
  • Red bumps on the head, neck and shoulders
  • A tickling feeling like something crawling through the hair

If you take your child to a doctor, he or she may use a special light called Wood’s lamp which causes nits to glow a bluish hue. However, it’s important to note that identification of nits does not automatically mean that your child has a live infestation. Nits need to live very close to the scalp to survive, and any nits found more than ¼ inches above the scalp are likely dead or empty. These nits might be leftovers from a previous infestation. The doctor might decide to use a microscope to confirm whether the nits are alive or dead.

It’s advisable to check all household members and close contacts as well. Head lice seem to have a high propensity for young ones, because children have thinner hair shafts than adults (hair gains girth with age).

Head Lice Treatment
Once you or your doctor has made a positive diagnosis, it’s now time to send these nasty joyriders packing, and hopefully stay put. There are two main treatments for head lice:
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies
  • Professional head lice removal service

  1. OTC Products
In the CDC study above, 81% of respondents had used OTC products to treat lice. OTC medications are mainly based on a compound known as pyrethrin or its derivatives. Pyrethrin is derived from the chrysanthemum flower and is highly toxic to most insects, including lice, killing almost instantly on contact.

Wash your child’s hair using shampoo (but not conditioner) before using any of these treatments. Thoroughly rinse the hair using white vinegar to dissolve the glue that holds nits to hair shafts. Follow the manufacturer’s advice regarding how long to leave the medication in the hair before rinsing. Pyrethrin-based products are generally safe to use on children aged 2 years and above.

  1. Head Lice Removal Services
There are several businesses and hair salons that offer head lice removal as a service. If you have been having trouble with over the counter treatments and other chemicals that are just not doing the job, then head lice removal might be your best option.

Depending on your area, head lice specialists can arrive to your home, and perform the treatment there. Local businesses such as Lice Removal Portland have been providing affordable emergency treatments for several years. Similar companies operate on a local level, while other treatment clinics can service nationwide.

The methods used are mostly natural based and chemical free. Other methods such as the Airalle treatment only use heated air to kill both lice and nit eggs. Whatever the severity of your infestation is, a specialized lice removal business can have you lice-free within a few hours depending on the length of your hair and the level of infestation.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

How to Achieve the Perfect Night of Sleep Using Natural Remedies

Understanding that a good night's sleep is equally as important as routinely exercising and
keeping to a healthy diet will instantly put you on the right path.
Studies have given us insight into the powers of sleep and low-level, poor sleep can have an immediate
negative effect on several factors, including brain function, hormones and the ability to exercise at a
good level. What’s more, you can end up gaining weight and become more at risk to health issues such
as heart disease when you don’t get quality sleep; it’s really that important.
On the other side of things, enjoying good sleep means you can benefit from eating correct amounts,
experience superior exercise sessions and live with better overall well-being.
Our ability to sleep well and sleep consistently has been declining over the past few decades, so
taking stock to make sure that you don’t become one of the statistics who’ve fallen into this trap is
Here are a handful of the best natural remedies you can adopt to maintain a perfect night’s sleep on a
regular basis.
Enhance Your Bedroom Space
Ensuring that you have a sleep-friendly environment to retire to each evening is one of the most
important things that you can add to your regime as a sleep-conscious person.
The main considerations for this natural sleep remedy are the following:
·      Ideal temperature (18°C and 21°C.)
·      Low noise
·      Minimal to no external light
·      Minimal to no digital screens, including TV
The factors highlighted above, if addressed, will aid sound slumber to be achieved in the best way
possible, helping you to avoid poor sleep and long-term health issues.
Make the space as relaxing and ambient as you possibly can, which also includes removing clocks as
they can distract and prevent you from drifting off, or getting back to sleep if you happen to wake up.
Try Using a Melatonin Supplement
The hormone, Melatonin, is a vital part of your sleep cycle as it signals to the brain when the time is
right to unwind and take yourself off to bed.
These days, it’s widely known for people to include melatonin supplements to help effective sleep as
part of a hectic lifestyle to secure better sleep. It’s regularly used to treat insomnia as well, and with
melatonin on your side, it’s arguably one of the best ways to send yourself off to the Land of Nod each
Research has found that as little as 2mg of melatonin prior to going to bed raised not just sleep quality,
but more energy the following day too, while also assisting in faster transitions to falling asleep.
There is such a thing as too much melatonin, which you can find out more about here, but if you decide
to stop using the supplement, no withdrawal symptoms were reported in the research.
Caffeine Consumption Control
The wonders of caffeine are enjoyed by so many people on a day-to-day basis, thanks to its
energy-boosting properties. It can be handy to help with focus and increased energy, to name just two
of the vitality-centric purposes it serves.
The only sticking point with caffeine is that when it’s consumed too late in the day, the stimulation your
nervous system gets can prevent your body from naturally relaxing in the evening time when you
should be winding down and readying your mind and body for sleep.
It’s possible for caffeine to remain in your body for 6–8 hours after you consume it. As a result of this,
you should be aiming to avoid caffeine consumption after, ideally 3pm, but 4pm at the latest.
You might be craving that late afternoon cup of coffee to see you through the rest of the day, but it’s
worth remembering that caffeine can, and most likely will, significantly worsen your quality of sleep,
particularly if you are sensitive to caffeine, or consume notable amounts later in the day.
Create Regular, Consistent Sleep/Wake Times
Our last point is one that you get to tailor to your own needs as you see fit.
Your body's circadian rhythm goes about its business on a finely tuned loop that aligns itself with
sunrise and sunset. Therefore, maintaining consistency with your sleep and waking times can support
long-term sleep quality.
Research has cited that those who endure irregular sleeping patterns and go to bed late on the
weekends will live with poor quality sleep. Additionally, having irregular sleep patterns has the capability
to change your circadian rhythm and your melatonin levels.
What you need to stay on top of is getting in the habit of waking up and going to bed at loosely similar
times each night and morning. Once you have kept this up for several weeks, there’s every possibility
that you won’t even require an alarm to wake you up in the morning!
Hopefully, these easy but important remedies help you on your journey to success sleep at night and
you can reap the many benefits that come with getting sound slumber.

Friday, January 18, 2019

5 Steps To Living A Healthier Lifestyle

Living a healthier lifestyle isn’t always easy, but it is possible with the right tools and mindset in place. Commit to changing your habits and you’ll have no choice but to experience better days ahead.

Accept that you have control over your actions and are the one person who can successfully turn your life around for the better. Take the following steps seriously and you’ll be on your way to creating a happy and healthy path for yourself. Put in the hard work now and then enjoy all the benefits that come from your efforts and commitment to improving yourself.

1.   Cut Back on Processed Foods & Alcohol

You can live a healthier lifestyle by cutting back on processed foods and alcohol. Sometimes these types of changes aren’t as simple as they sound because foods and alcohol can be addicting. If you or someone you know needs help cutting back or has an addiction problem, then check out rehab for alcoholics. Change your diet for the better and your mood will lift and getting in shape and losing weight will be easier for you.

2.   Take Breaks from Technology

Another step you should follow to live a healthier lifestyle is to take breaks from technology. It’s good for your health and wellbeing and will help you to refocus your mind and concentrate on your goals. Technology can be addicting, and there are so many other ways you can be spending your time such as going for a long walk in nature or connecting with your loved ones. Too much screen time can have an impact on your physical as well as your mental health, so be sure to set limits.

3.   Avoid Toxic People & Relationships

You may not be enjoying your life much lately because you’re involved with toxic people and relationships. You want people in your life who lift you up and aren’t always negative and bringing you down. Live a healthier lifestyle by being choosy about who you allow in your life and trust with your feelings and emotions. Surround yourself with individuals who you look up to and you know have your back through thick and thin.

4.   Proactively Manage Your Stress

Another step to living a healthier lifestyle is to proactively manage your stress. Too much stress and worry can take a toll on your wellbeing and cause more strain in your life. Find ways to keep your feelings in check such as meditation or practicing yoga. You’ll be able to handle your responsibilities and schedule better when you aren’t feeling so overwhelmed by racing thoughts.

5.   Practice Work-Life Balance              

Working too much has the potential to cause you to ignore your health and not have any time for self-care. Practice work-life balance so that you spend enough time with your family and can also make a good career for yourself. Set boundaries both at home and at the office and say no to certain obligations if you know you don’t have time for them.

Can't Remember the Order of the Planets? Make a Solar System Necklace!

Let me start by saying that I'm sure you can find a cheaper way to do this project! On Pinterest, there are projects like this where you can buy wooden beads in different sizes and paint them (check out this post for that project and here's another solar system necklace just so you don't think I came up with this idea on my own).

I was NOT going to do that, and one reason is because I'm a Professional Procrastinator and I was tossing this project together the day before Homeschool Co-op Astronomy class for Fifth and Sixth graders. I normally need Quick and Easy! I was originally looked up ideas for a hanging mobile, which is neat, but I wanted something smaller since I'm in Tidying Up mode and my friends are too. Something small they could learn from but put away easily hit the spot.

I went to Hobby Lobby for the beads and my oldest son Joel helped me pick them out. I looked up a picture of the planet colors and just went from there and did the best I could. It drove some of my kids insane that the sizes of the beads don't reflect the sizes of the planets, but that wasn't the point :-)

It helped that these string beads were 50% off that day because they can get pricey ... $3-7 per string. I spent a total of $39, but that included a $2 bead keeper and the string. I found a 40% off coupon online using my phone, and that made the stretchy string cheaper (40% off $7.50).

I also get a class fee of $10 from each kid, so that helps to offset anything I'm going to spend out of pocket this semester. I don't mind going out of pocket a bit because (1) my Eva is in the class and (2) these are the children of my friends and I love them :-) This year we are also going to do marshmallow/toothpick constellations and galaxy slime!

I got them all organized (okay, Callie helped me) in this bead-keeper in the right order.

Then I put one of each bead into a baggie, along with a length of stretchy string.

I put all of the individual packets in a larger baggie, along with scissors in case we needed to cut anything, and clear nail polish for securing the knot once we had the necklace finished.

My (Mercury)
Very (Venus)
Easy (Earth)
Method (Mars)
Just (Jupiter)
Speeds (Saturn)
Up (Uranus)
Naming (Neptune)
Planets (Pluto) ... we will debate whether it is a planet or not, but I am keeping it!

I think that's a halo above my head. WOW!

I know this looks weird but I had to cover up the face of a photo-bombing student for privacy just in case! Mine is missing the sun because there are 8 students and the sun beads only came in a string of 8.

My precious Eva wearing her necklace!
How did we do it? So easy.

I had each kid tie a double knot at the end of their string so the bead would not fall off while they were making their necklace.

Then we put the beads on in the right order and tied the necklace together at the top. If you use stretchy string, the key is to stretch it over and over at the knot site after you tie the knot. Double or triple tie and stretch, stretch, stretch (not too hard).

Then we put a dab of clear nail polish on the knot.

One kid made hers a bracelet, which is actually brilliant. One was going to take hers home and make it into a choker.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Top Family Travel Topic Ideas For Your Mom Blog

There are many truly rewarding benefits to running a mom blog.

But at the same time, coming up with topic ideas is also one of the most challenging aspects of being a blogger, and especially when you want to come up with ideas that have been written about very rarely by other mom bloggers so your own blog will stand out better.

Here are the top family travel topic ideas for your mom blog:

Your Biggest Family Travel Failures

One idea is to be vulnerable and open up about any family travel failures you’ve encountered in the past and how you could have. Of course, don’t assign blame to your other family members in the trip, and only focus on things that you personally did that you could have done or handled better.

For one thing, other moms and people reading your blog should probably appreciate your honesty, and you’ll appear much more genuine. For another thing, you can give ideas to other m moms on family travel mistakes to avoid.

Your Biggest Family Travel Successes

On the flip side of things, you can also write articles about your biggest family travel successes. This type of article will serve two primary purposes to readers:

For one thing, it will inspire them to actually take their own families out on fun trips and vacations if they’ve been on the fence about it.

In addition, the article could also serve the purpose of teaching other families on how to travel successfully and properly by listing out and describing everything that you did.

Many people may have an idea that a family trip is certain to be an all-out disaster due to the myriad of things that could go wrong, but writing a positive article on your family’s biggest travel successes could easily help to convince them otherwise.

Your Favorite Things To Do In Different Locations

Anyone can research the best places to visit in any given location online, but writing about your family’s personal favorite things to do in any given location will be much more unique.

You can even take things a step further by turning the article into more of a story. If you write an article about taking your family to a specific location, such as ‘Taking The Family To Myrtle Beach’ or something along those lines, the article would be much more interesting in the form of a story rather than a listicle type of article where you simply outline and describe your favorite locations.

How You Keep Your Younger Children Entertained En Route To Your Destination

This could actually be a fun article to write about. It’s no secret that younger aged children especially can be very difficult to entertain while traveling, such as during long flights or on road trips.

The article, at the very least, could help convince other parents that all is not lost in regards to keeping their younger children busy and happy during longer travel experiences. Your pieces could focus on strategies that you have used to keep your own children entertained, and again, it would no doubt be more interesting to read if it were told in the form of a story from your personal experiences rather than simply outlining and discussing the different strategies that you have used before.

How To Save On Family Travel

This is a big one, because family travel is one of the biggest expenses that any family will incur beyond paying the mortgage, car payments, health insurance costs, and setting aside money for college for the kids.

This is why many other moms, especially those who will be on a budget, are always on the web searching for strategies to reduce the cost of family travel. And while there are undoubtedly many other mom bloggers talking about the exact same subject, you can nonetheless make your article or articles unique by focusing on unique money saving tips that you use.

Top Family Travel Topic Ideas For Your Mom Blog

In all honesty, there’s really no shortage of family travel topic ideas that you can write about on your mom blog.

The challenge is in finding topics that haven’t already been written to the point of repetition by other mom bloggers, but fortunately, any of the above topic ideas should be unique enough to your blog.


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