Toddler dies in head lice treatment tragedy

combing a girl's hair with a head lice comb

When an 18-month-old girl caught head lice, her family decided to try a home remedy. But that snap decision has had an unthinkable outcome.

Police were called to the toddler’s home in Springfield, Massachusetts, last weekend to reports that she wasn’t breathing. Tragically, she couldn’t be saved.

A home head lice treatment goes tragically wrong

The girl’s scalp had been covered in mayonnaise and a plastic shopping bag put over her head to cover the treatment. While the girl was sleeping overnight, the shopping bag slipped down over her face and suffocated her.

Police and the state Department of Children and Families are investigating, but no one has yet been charged over the death.

Many families turn to home remedies to try to get rid of lice, which the NSW Health Department estimates affect one in four schoolchildren at any time.

There are countless chemical and natural treatments on the market, though the tiresome “comb and conditioner” method is largely recognised to be the most effective lice fighter. Petroleum jelly such as Vaseline, olive and vegetable oils are often cited as effective home remedies (even by the Minnesota Health Department), with a shower cap usually worn during treatment.

(via CBS News)

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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