How to spot and treat lice in kids
Recognizing the nits is the first step before getting rid of them
- Lice are very common and often spread from person to person from head-to-head contact.
- There are a lot of myths about lice and how they survive in someone’s hair. Millions of people get head lice every year.
- The best way to combat head lice is to treat them. Ignoring the matter won’t help it go away.
At first glance, head lice can seem like a nightmare situation for parents. And more often than not, it is simply because there are so many moms and dads that don’t know how to combat the problem, let alone recognize it. While getting head lice can certainly become an embarrassing situation, it’s nothing to panic about. Millions of children and adults get head lice every year. Here’s what you need to know.
How do you get lice?
Lice often spread in public places and especially among kids. There’s a good chance that your child or someone you might know might have gotten lice from another peer at school. Kids can get lice if they share hats with a child that is infested or if they’ve shared hair accessories, clothing, and belongings.
However, head lice infestation is not limited to the classroom. Adults and children can also come in contact with it – unsuspectedly – in places like shopping malls, grocery stores, public transportation, and parks. All it takes is one louse to make its way onto a person’s hair in order for an infestation to begin.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter if you have “clean” hair or “dirty” hair when it comes to lice. You can wash your child’s hair several times a day, throw away their pillows and deep clean the house as much as you can, the lice will still be there. There is only one way that you can efficiently eradicate lice.
The first signs of lice
The first thing you may notice is that your child is scratching his or her head more often than usual. That, or you might see small little red bumps or sores from all the scratching. If your little one is complaining that their head is constantly itchy, the first thing you should do is part your child’s hair into small sections. Check for lice and nits with a comb.
While a lot of people tend to look at the top of their child’s head first, keep in mind that you can find little nits just about anywhere but mostly behind a person’s ear.
They can also be found around the nape of the neck, however, it’s rare that they would be found in someone’s eyelashes or eyebrows.
How to treat lice
While there are many different ways that can help remove the nits, keep in mind that this is a tedious task and that it might be several days until your family and home are lice-free. The one thing that you need to do is patiently comb through your child’s hair – and yes – remove the nits one by one.
Leaving just one louse behind might start an entirely new wave in a matter of days. While some medicated shampoos do help, health professionals have said that lice are becoming resistant to them. Many anti-lice treatments are available at grocery or drug stores and affordable prices. The only way that you will get rid of the lice though is if you follow the directions thoroughly.
It’s been noted that most lice treatments need to be used twice and sometimes seven to 10 days apart before it’s completely gone. You can also remove the dead lice with a comb the next day. It’s also best to avoid using regular shampoo for the next several days after treatment.
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