Head lice in children is a common problem because youngsters spend a lot of time in large groups. As a parent, you should educate yourself about the symptoms and treatments. Fortunately, infestations of head lice can be dealt with easily, using safe products available at your local drug store. Read on to discover how to get rid of head lice and which products will do the job quickly.
The most common symptom of head lice is itching, but a light infestation may not cause irritation. Also, having nits does not mean that you will have a lice infestation. Even after nits hatch, the casing can stay on the hair for a long time, and it’s hard to tell the difference between an empty one and one with a live louse embryo inside. Nits are more likely to contain a live embryo if they are close to the scalp. Adult lice are reddish-brown and are most commonly seen at the back of the neck and behind the ears.
To check for head lice in your children, do a thorough inspection of the hair and scalp. If you don’t see any, then you may be able to just remove the nits and continue to look for live lice. To get rid of the nits, separate the hair into sections and use a fine toothed plastic or metal comb, your fingernails or tape that is folded so that the sticky side faces outward. Go through the process daily until all the nits are gone.
If you find lice and nits on your child, then use an anti-lice shampoo and follow the package directions carefully. In general, you should apply it to washed and dried hair and apply the shampoo until the hair and scalp is saturated and thoroughly wet. Leave the shampoo on for ten minutes and then rinse it out. Consider using a second shampoo treatment in 7-10 days to kill newly hatched lice. For lice in eyelashes, apply Vaseline to the eyelashes twice a day for a week to kill them. Lice can live off of the body for up to three days, so give your house a thorough cleaning to prevent a re-infestation. Wash all bedding and recently worn clothing in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Soak combs and brushes in hot water for at least ten minutes. Vacuuming furniture, rugs, stuffed animals and car seats will help to clean those items, but articles that cannot be washed should be put into plastic bags for three weeks.
Some people use mayonnaise, olive oil or hair gel, in place of shampoos as a head lice home remedy, but there’s little evidence to indicate that these methods work. For the termination of head lice in children, it is best done with shampoos that are recommended for kids. Many organizations discourage using lice sprays and pesticides around the house. If your child’s lice infestation has not been resolved in 1-2 weeks, or if the scalp has a rash that is infected with pus or honey colored scabs, consult your pediatrician as soon as possible. Complications are very rare, but it’s best to treat it as soon as possible.