What To Do If Your Child Has Head Lice

Somebody notifying you that your little one has head lice could cause shock, fear, and even embarrassment. Though a head lice infestation doesn’t point out uncleanliness and head lice don’t unfold any ailments, there’s a social stigma and lots of misconceptions about head lice. Armed with the proper info, you’ll be able to test for lice and deal with your little one. You can even take measures to stop spreading the infestation to others. Listed below are some crucial questions and solutions that will help you win the battle in opposition to head lice.1,2

Head lice are tiny bugs present in human hair that survive by feeding on blood equipped by the scalp. A single grownup known as a louse, and their eggs are known as nits. In the USA, children who attend daycare, preschool, or elementary faculty and people who dwell with them are almost definitely to face an infestation.1

Your little one might not expertise any signs, however listed below are some to concentrate on:1

  • A tickling sensation or feeling like one thing is crawling of their hair
  • Itching brought on by an allergic response to lice saliva
  • Problem sleeping since lice choose to be extra lively at nighttime

Head lice don’t have wings and can’t soar; thus, crawling is the one method they journey. This implies one individual’s hair coming in direct contact with an infested individual’s hair is the almost definitely method for them to maneuver from individual to individual. This contact can happen on the playground, at slumber events, or in sleep-away camps.1

Transmission via contact with issues that belong to somebody with head lice is much less frequent however nonetheless attainable. That is why it’s useful for youths to keep away from sharing private objects equivalent to hairbrushes, hats, ribbons, scarves, or towels. It’s also unusual for head lice to unfold by sleeping on a pillow or sofa that has just lately been in touch with somebody with head lice, however hairs which were shed can have a louse or hatching nit nonetheless connected.1

Sure. Since their main supply of nourishment comes from the scalp, they’re sometimes not far-off. An infestation is probably going when discovering nits connected to hair inside 1 / 4 of an inch of the scalp, and remedy is really helpful. So, children with brief hair are simply as more likely to develop into infested as these with longer hair.1,8

Though some folks affiliate head lice with poor hygiene, lice choose to dwell in clear hair. Since lice cement their eggs to the hair shaft, it’s simpler for the eggs to connect to hair that’s clear and doesn’t have a lot oil.6

Guarantee you will have good lighting and a fine-toothed comb, like these with over-the-counter lice treatment. Beginning with moist hair can even assist make head lice simpler to see.

Head lice choose to put their nits in hair over heat locations on the scalp, so start your search close to the nape of the neck and transfer upward, checking totally behind the ears. You should definitely search in separated sections of the hair, inspecting the complete head. When you verify an infestation, test everybody within the family for the subsequent 10-15 days.5,7

To test your self, use two mirrors, inserting one in entrance of you and one behind you, and test behind your ears for both grownup lice or nits. Examine the bottom of your head by pulling your hair up and looking out carefully for motion or lice eggs.7

Grownup lice are fast-moving, mild brown, and about the identical dimension as a sesame seed. They don’t like mild and will scurry away as quickly as you start checking for lice.3,5

Lice Eggs vs. Dandruff

Louse egg on the hair causes itchy head.

Lice eggs (nits) are yellowish tan and securely fixed to the hair shaft. They’re about the identical dimension as a thread knot. When checking for an infestation, it’s possible you’ll discover it difficult to find out what you see: lice eggs vs. dandruff. To find out what’s a lice egg vs. dandruff, attempt to take away it along with your fingers. If it doesn’t come out simply, it’s a nit. Different particles that will resemble nits can embrace leftover hair merchandise, grime, scabs, and sand.1,3,5,7

When you’ve recognized whether or not it’s lice eggs vs. dandruff, understanding find out how to deal with and kill head lice is important.

Folks have tried all sorts of treatments for head lice, from tea tree oil to mayonnaise. Analysis research haven’t confirmed the efficacy of important oils. Additionally, because the FDA doesn’t regulate them, important oil elements and concentrations can fluctuate broadly from one producer to a different. Seek the advice of your pediatrician on the security of important oils in your little one. Mayonnaise and different oil-based options have been used to suffocate the lice to kill them, however the efficacy of this remedy has not been confirmed both.4

The one dependable remedies accessible are medicated shampoos designed to kill lice. In case your little one is younger, you’ll need to test along with your pediatrician earlier than selecting a shampoo, as some could cause scalp irritation and burning. Your little one’s healthcare supplier might have higher choices accessible based mostly in your little one’s age. They might additionally find out about native companies specializing in lice remedy and elimination.1,4

There are a number of at-home head lice remedies you should purchase over-the-counter. The very best lice shampoos have one of many two lively elements which were FDA-approved to kill lice: pyrethrins with piperonyl butoxide or permethrin lotion at 1%. Each are efficient in killing dwell lice however not nits, so you should repeat the remedy 9 to 10 days after the primary shampooing to kill any contemporary hatchlings. Pyrethin treatment has solely been authorized for youths over the age of two. Permethrin is secure for youths older than two months however at all times speak to your pediatrician first.9

Guarantee your little one’s hair isn’t rinsed with conditioner earlier than lice remedy. Conditioners can forestall the treatment from clinging to the hair shafts, and it gained’t work as nicely.1

It’s essential to comply with the instructions of the shampoo you select rigorously. Additionally, keep away from utilizing these like common shampoos. Your little one needs to be totally clothed, not in a bathe or bathtub throughout shampoo. As a result of the pores and skin can take in these medicines, you need to keep away from having the medicated shampoo on any pores and skin for any pointless period of time. After remedy, your little one should keep away from getting their hair moist for no less than two days because the treatment nonetheless works.1,5

After two remedies, some nits should still be connected to the hair however are unlikely to hatch, primarily if discovered greater than 1 / 4 of an inch from the scalp. You should use the fine-toothed comb with the shampoo to take away any remaining lice eggs after remedy for beauty causes, however this doesn’t essentially forestall the unfold of lice.1

If you happen to’ve accomplished a full course of at-home remedy and nonetheless see lice crawling round, you’ll need to contact your little one’s physician for prescription lice remedy treatment.9

Head lice can’t dwell lengthy, roughly 1-2 days after they’ve fallen off their meals supply, the scalp. Nits not of their superb incubation surroundings of heat and moisture of the scalp can’t hatch and can die in a few week. Even when a nit did hatch, it wouldn’t survive various hours with out feeding on human blood. Immediate identification and remedy of an infestation and stopping lice and nits from coming into contact with hair provides you one of the best likelihood at reinfestation.1

Listed below are some extra steps you’ll be able to take.

  • Clear any brushes or combs your little one has used totally by soaking them for 10 minutes in water no less than 130 levels Fahrenheit.5
  • Mattress linens which have are available in contact along with your little one’s hair inside 48 hours needs to be washed with scorching water and dried utilizing the most well liked attainable dryer temperature.
  • Stuffed animals may also be put within the dryer for 20-Half-hour.5

Nobody needs to be taught that their little one has head lice. Sadly, it continuously spreads amongst youngsters, particularly through the faculty yr. Understanding find out how to test for them, deal with the infestation, kill the lice, and forestall spreading them to others can assist make this frequent annoyance extra manageable.

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