- Kids Health
How To Get Rid Of Head Lice and Nits
How to get rid of head lice.
Headlice, head lice or nits, is a common problem which may be embarrassing, but is easily treatable, though apparently not completely.
Killing head lice and nits from a child who has got them at school, may result in a new infestation in their hair within a week.
The rapid breeding cycle of the head louse means that each adult louse, could easily lay ten eggs a day.
The life span of head lice is approximately only 30 days. But left untreated, within two weeks there could be over 1000 lice crawling around your childs head.
How to get rid of head lice is a common question. Simply attempting to wash them out with lice shampoo does not solve the problem.
Lice can close their breathing holes for long lengths of time and can cling onto the hair very tightly, tight enough that even a vigorous washing of the child's or adults hair will not make most lice relinquish their grip on their food source.
Hungry Head Lice / Nits
Know Your Enemy
The small head lice are only about the size of a sesame seed, and have six legs. They cannot jump or swim, and neither do they fly. T
he only way they will usually let go of the hair, is when they are dead.
Head lice will cling to the base of the hair right next to the warm scalp with their claws, and feast on the blood after biting through the skin.
Brushing hair vigorously for hours will normally not dislodge a hungry head louse or nit, their grip is to strong.
In comparison, the grip is like a grown man clinging to the underbelly of an airplane whilst in flight.
Important Head Lice Comb
How To Spot Head Lice
Head lice do not currently carry any life threatening disease or virus, so there is minimum risk of adverse effects from head lice bites except for little scabs.
A school will usually send a child home with a letter confirming that children maybe in contact with others whom already have head lice.
If this is the case, then nearly every child in that school will have head lice within a few weeks at some time or another, including the tutors.
To see if you, your child, or any other family member has head lice simply carefully comb through the hair. Part the hair and look closely at parts of the scalp, especially where the hair meets the scalp.
If you see something crawling quickly, or small seed like objects in the hair, then that person has adult head lice.
If small white to opaque colored objects are seen attached to the hair but not at the base of the individual hair strands, then they also have eggs.
Head Lice Shampoo
There are many different and cheap head lice shampoo treatments on the market. But which one is best for you child? Head lice shampoo is a poison of sorts, obviously not to humans, but it is still a poison.
For a child, use only a child's head lice shampoo, preferably one which is kind to the environment and also to asthma sufferers.
Even if your child does not suffer from asthma, any caring parent can never be to cautious for their child's health and protection.
The shampoo for head lice treatment alone cannot get all the head lice and eggs from the hair.
The shampoo is the poison to kill the lice, but they can still be alive and laying eggs for several days, creating new families to suck your blood.
The nit comb is the secret weapon in removing the head lice, nits, and eggs.
Every school had "Nitty Nora, the head explorer" who was a nurse who inspected children for lice. She came armed to the teeth with nit combs.
The nit comb, is similar to a normal hair comb, only finer and stronger. Once the shampoo has been used, the comb will then drag the lice and eggs from the hair.
It is no use just using the shampoo on its' own, the comb must also be used.
Always read the instructions on the boxes or packets, the shampoo will need to be used quite frequently over several weeks, as re-infestation from other children whom still have nits is highly possible.
The head lice comb should be used twice daily to prevent adult lice from laying more eggs. Killing head lice can take a long time, there is no overnight solution for an ongoing problem.
Head Lice Repellents
Killing lice is important, and so is ensuring that you or your child tries to keep them away in the near future. Repellent sprays are NOT perfect, they can only deter nits by certain odours within the spray.
They can help, but to what degree depends upon many circumstances such as strong winds, type of hair, infestation numbers in the local community etc. Head lice are hardy creatures, and will probably survive a nuclear war.
After removing the lice from your family, continue to do so for a minimum of two weeks, every day. This is important to keep their numbers down and prevent other people catching them from you.
There is another way to help keeping the head lice numbers down, and that is to shave the head. This is a very extreme approach to solving the problem, but it works.