If you find out your child has head lice, it’s easy to get upset. The idea of small parasites in your child’s hair can lead to panic and hasty decisions. However, you may be less stressed if you knew that head lice are not known to transmit diseases, and the only major health issue they cause is itching.
Although head lice infestation is most common among school-age children, it can affect people of any age group. Head lice are spread most commonly by direct contact with someone who already has them.
In this guide, we’ll teach you how to treat head lice infestation.
1) Take Precautions against Lice Spreading
Lice are small insects that live on the scalp and feed on human blood. They are most commonly spread through head-to-head contact, such as during sports, at slumber parties, or during playtime.
The first step in treating head lice infestation is to take precautions against lice spreading. This means avoiding close contact with people who have lice, and not sharing anything that could spread lice.
2) Learn the Life Cycle of Head Lice
There are three stages in the life cycle of head lice:
Nits are white, oval-shaped eggs that are glued to the hair shaft near the scalp. Nits cannot move, and are often mistaken for dandruff. This is the first stage of the life cycle, and lasts about 8 days.
Nymphs are young lice that hatch from the nits. They look like adult lice, but are smaller. Nymphs grow quickly and mature into adults in about seven days.
Adult lice are about the size of a sesame seed and are greyish-brown in colour. Adult lice live for about 30 days on the head and lay about 5-15 eggs per day.
3) Conduct Treatment
Over-the-counter (OTC) head lice treatments are typically shampoos with different active ingredients that kill different stages of head lice. Most of them don’t kill nits, so you may have to reapply the treatment once the nymphs hatch.
Some OTC head lice treatments use pyrethrins, which are found naturally in flowers of the Compositae (Asteraceae) family. If your child is allergic to these flowers, they may also be allergic to the head lice treatment.
4) Consider Getting a Haircut
If head lice are a recurring problem, consider getting a haircut. Head lice prefer long hair. It’s easier to treat a shorter haircut than long hair.
If head lice don’t have a human host, they can’t survive. So, if you shave off all your hair, the lice will die. Some parents may think this is a drastic measure, but it may be necessary.
5) Keep Your Home Clean to Prevent Re-Infestation
If you are constantly getting rid of lice, you have to be careful to clean and disinfect your house. This will prevent them from returning.
You have to vacuum your furniture and carpeting to get rid of any eggs that might have fallen there. You also have to wash all your bedding and towels in hot water.
There are a few things you can do to prevent head lice. It’s important not to panic and contain the situation as much as possible. If you do get lice, there are many effective treatments available to get rid of them.
For more resources on treating head lice, NitNOT has you covered. We offer head lice treatment options that are completely hypo-allergenic. Read through our website to learn more.