Posts By: Guest Blogger

Smart Lice and Your Families Health

Just the thought of bugs crawling in your hair is enough to send anyone racing to the bath tub armed with bottles of lice-killing treatments. But wait! Before you treat lice symptoms, take a seat, take a breath, and get the facts about head lice.

Head lice are a common problem with more than two million Canadians experiencing head lice annually, and around six million annual cases in the U.S. There is quite a market for treating lice mostly dominated by the sale of head lice treatments that contain pesticide or other chemical compounds. These are toxic to lice and pose potential danger to humans and the environment if over used or abused. Children who are still developing or those who may have an underlying health issue should not be exposed to high levels of pesticide. Although the levels in most of these over the counter remedies is low the potential risk comes from their over use and abuse when they fail to work as directed.

Why is this important information for your family to know? A recent study in the medical journal of entomology has shown that head lice are now 97.1% resistant to most of the over the counter head lice treatments containing permethrin, a common synthetic chemical widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, and insect repellent. It belongs to the family of synthetic chemicals called pyrethroids and functions as a neurotoxin, affecting neuron membranes by prolonging sodium channel activation. It is not known to rapidly harm most mammals or birds, but is dangerously toxic to cats and fish. In general, it has a low mammalian toxicity. Most popular head lice treatment products contain permethrin. When the product fails to perform people may over use or abuse them in a desperate effort to get rid of the bugs. I have personally spoken to many mothers who have told me they have used upwards of ten to fifteen applications without success.

Head Lice Removal Options

Shampoo and cleaning products made with preformed enzymes as the active ingredient are a great solution to products that rely on chemical or pesticide actions to kill bugs. These naturally occurring plants enzymes are safe for human use and are environmentally friendly. They are biodegradable and do not pollute the water system. Their action is mechanical and when used in combination with reduction combing and environmental cleaning offer superior results. The most important step in lice eradication with natural lice treatment is to systematically interrupt their life cycles by the removal of lice eggs. Systematic combing in combination with enzyme shampoo and environmental cleaning applications will ensure that the life cycle of the louse is broken and the case is completely eradicated. You may opt to hire a lice removal service. In this case a medical device called the Air Elle may be used. This utilizes heated air to kill all lice and their eggs in combination with reduction combing to remove the dead head lice and eggs. The DIY sect may also opt for the old fashioned oil smothering method whereby you saturate the scalp in olive or coconut oil and smother the bugs.

 

About the Author:

Dawn Mucci is a mother of three, writer and founder of Lice Squad Canada. Her vision is to dispel the stigma associated with head lice and to stop the overuse and abuse of pesticides on children and our environment.

Ainsley Doesn’t Play Well with Others

I was at the kids’ park playground the other day having a good ol’ time swinging, checkin’ out the twisty slides, and enjoying the sun. My daughter was there, too, and we were having a great time. Another cute couple arrived, a momma and her son. I’m all about my daughter being social but she’s at an age where she is always looking for friends. I mean EVERYTHING in her beautiful, innocent world is a potential friend, maybe even a stop sign if she wanted to (adorable!). Of course she wanted to say hello to the couple and sadly they did not reciprocate. Then the little boy went so far as to throw water at her when she was in his vicinity and his mom chose to be, what I like to call, a PPYP (a passive play yard parent).

You know the one I’m talking about: the parent who chooses to sit outside of the play area and yell at their kids while they are on the play structure instead of being active with them. Not only did it make my daughter upset it also put me in a bit of pickle—was I supposed to speak to the mom and say, “hey stranger, your child should work on being nice to my innocent mini-me”? Or should I just continue playing with my daughter to distract her from the fact that, in life, there will be the occasional jerk at the kids’ playground? Perhaps I should ask Ontario parks to post a list on kids getting bullied and how to play nicely at the playground for all to see so that we are all on the same page. In the end, we cut our play time short, which meant the little boy was left to play on his own and that made me kind of sad, too. My daughter and I learned a lesson that day—it can be tough making new friends (no matter what the age) and hopefully, in the near future, we will be able to find some other couples who frequent the kids playground and share the same ideas regarding play time, sharing, and being nice to others.

Now that I am learning all of these new rules and tips about being a parent, I am really seeing just how naïve I was about this whole parenting business. There is a whole crazy world out there that I feel completely unprepared for. Not only am I helping to mold my daughter into a reasonable human being, but I am also gaining all sorts of new insights about making friends myself!

I worry constantly that my daughter will be too much like me, labelled with, “does not play well with others” by primary teachers. (To this day my mom, and now my husband, still laugh at this.) As I grew up, that statement became inaccurate. I grew into a friendly person, my job requires that of me—that’s what customer service is all about. As a child, I was just more introverted, my parents weren’t worried about it and I am not going to worry about it either. If my daughter wants to read and play on her own I’m not going to stop her and hopefully there will be few instances in her young life where people don’t want to have her around.

As a parent, I didn’t realize that I would also have to make new friends, remind myself how to play nicely with others, and remember how to share. I am going to have to put more effort into looking for friends who are also parents, and I’m going to have to learn to share my daughter’s time, too. As adults, we forget that we are going to have to interact with other parents and, since I’m a full-time stay at home mom, I am really going to have to try harder. It’s different when you’re at work—you can’t just run away or throw sand when you don’t feel like interacting with others. At the kids playground, I sometimes find myself a little lost, but I have to start somewhere so. . . Hi, my name is Ainsley. Wanna come out to play?

I would love to hear more about how you interact with other parents and neighbours at the kids playground or elsewhere; any advice you can share about making friends or how I can find likeminded parents would be awesome!

 

About the Author

Ainsley Gelder was welcomed into the Mabel community back in 2012 – ready for a new job and pregnant the Team welcomed her (and her bump) with loving arms and now they can’t get rid of her! You may recognize her voice from communicating with her through the Customer Service Department, she’s here to answer questions or to chat about labels and loves to laugh. Ainsley is crazy for a good DIY Project on Pinterest and spending time with her family, she especially loves spending time reading books with her toddler and having dance parties in the living room.

You can find her on Twitter @ainsleyisdancin

Weight Loss Issues

My daughter’s  2nd birthday is just around the corner. Like all parents I am in disbelief of how fast time has flown by! The thought of her birthday has caused me to reflect on my life and analyze how things are going. In particular I find that I have been obsessing about my physical appearance and my lack of motivation to lose the left over baby-weight that has stuck with me after childbirth.

Before my daughter was born I would have considered myself a fairly active person. My previous job was labour intensive so that helped– working in a greenhouse you sweat in both the summer and in the winter when you’re layered up looking after plants! When I became pregnant everyone told me things would change and they did. Like all pregnant women my body spread out to make way for this little person and I gained weight. Now I find myself in what I like to call Mommy Limbo: I’m not thrilled with how I look but I’m not interested in spending my free time at the gym either. In fact, I would rather be doing anything else. These days I find it especially tough at home because my husband who lost his sympathy pregnancy weight the moment our daughter was born is now preparing for a Mud Hero race and getting even more fit.

So I came to the realization that it’s time to start an active living plan, and stop complaining. No more pity parties! Part of the active plan is tricky-instead of trying to figure out how to lose weight fast (like many celebrities) I have to be realistic. I can’t ignore pop culture but I can certainly look at celebs who lose weight in what feels like a matter of minutes and understand that they have a lot of help.  Of course Beyoncé can cleanse she has personal trainers and chefs! Sure Gisele can hit the VS runway 6 weeks after having her baby, working out is part of the job! It’s not right that we constantly compare ourselves to glamorous people even though it seems to be unavoidable in our technology driven world. So I decided to focus on the goals that are attainable. I mean I love Reese Witherspoon as much as the next person but instead of focussing on how to lose weight fast like she did, I could just copy her haircut.

I want our daughter to grow up in a home that places value on people for their merits and that starts with her dad and I reinforcing good habits. I want her to know that it’s important to respect people and that we need to discuss what we see in the media about size, celebs and the obsession with what is deemed “attractive”. I don’t want my daughter to think that all I do is spend hours googling, “how to lose belly fat”, or “how to lose weight fast” or fidgeting in front of the mirror worrying about what other people think of my size.

I am hoping is that this starts a new conversation-not just amongst moms but with everyone who is struggling with body issues. No more of this fat shaming. No more unrealistic diet plans. I am going to stop crying in front of the closet full of clothes that don’t fit anymore and set realistic goals that include building self esteem and being comfortable with whatever number is on the tag of my pants. That crying girl in front of the closet – that’s the old me. I became a new person the moment Sadie came into this world and I want to live up to her expectations. Let’s see how it goes, it’s another year to feel healthier and to celebrate every milestone, no matter how big or small.

No more tears in front of this closet!

As I start to change the way I look at the world I wonder if other new parents are going through the same things, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as the end of the day you feel good. So I’m curious, what have you done lately that inspired a more active lifestyle or helped with losing weight after pregnancy? I would love to hear your tips and suggestions!

 

About the Author

Ainsley Gelder was welcomed into the Mabel community back in 2012 – ready for a new job and pregnant the Team welcomed her (and her bump) with loving arms and now they can’t get rid of her! You may recognize her voice from communicating with her through the Customer Service Department, she’s here to answer questions or to chat about labels and loves to laugh. Ainsley is crazy for a good DIY Project on Pinterest and spending time with her family, she especially loves spending time reading books with her toddler and having dance parties in the living room.

You can find her on Twitter @ainsleyisdancin

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