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Head lice

Posted Sep 30 2008 11:12am

Lot of children will at some point catch head lice and despite lots of rumours and myths, it makes no difference on whether your child’s hair is squeaky clean or dirty! 

Children tend to catch them more when they are of school age as head lice simply walk from one head to another. With children all huddling together with their heads touching it makes it perfect for head lice as they cannot jump or fly. 

People think that an itchy scalp is the first sign to look out for but your child’s head would only start itching after the child has been infested with lice for months. It’s good to know what to check for to treat them early 

  • Look out for black lice droppings, which can be easily spotted on blond hair but if your child has dark hair check their pillow where it can sometimes be seen.

  • Lice lay eggs in the hair but are really tricky to spot, when they are hatched you will find it easier to look for the nits. Nits are simply the empty egg shells which look a little like dandruff but they will not be shaken out like dandruff, they stick to the hair like superglue!

How to treat head lice 

  • You can buy a special comb which has lots of small fine teeth. Wash your child’s hair and then put on lots of conditioner and use the comb to slowly comb out the lice. You must ensure you start right at the root, keep the hair very wet and use plenty of conditioner. The lice will find it tricky to keep a grip of the hair and so you should find you can remove them easily. This procedure must be repeated so you get all the new hatching eggs.

  • You could get a special lotion from the pharmacy, doctor or health visitor. They can advise of which one they think is best. They will give you strict instructions to follow.

If your child does catch head lice don’t be embarrassed and please tell your child’s teacher so that everyone in the class can be treated. Don’t forget to treat everyone in the family too so that it is not passed around the family. 

To prevent head lice some people swear by tea tree oil shampoos which apparently the head lice don’t seem to like…..it’s worth a try!

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