- Kids Health
Why Does My Child Keep Getting Head Lice?
Head lice can be contracted from a person or object that currently has lice. If your child has lice it means that everyone who has been in close contact with your child may have also contracted these tiny pests. What do you do if your child has head lice?
Lice Treatment for Hair
The first step in eliminating head lice is to use shampoo that will remove the head lice from your child's hair. There are products you can purchase from you local drug store. Rid is a popular lice shampoo. It generally is sold in a kit that contains the shampoo, a comb for removing nits, and spray for certain items in your home.
Once you purchase a kit you should carefully read the directions. You want to follow the directions exactly as they are printed on the label to ensure the safety of your child. This is a hazardous chemical and should be used with caution.
You should apply the shampoo solution to dry hair making sure to completely cover your child's hair in the solution. Then you need to let the solution stand for the amount of time printed on the label. Next you will rinse. First you need to add a small amount of water to create a lather, the same way as if you were washing your child's hair at their regular bath time. After this step you can rinse your child's hair thoroughly making sure to remove all of the solution. You may want to give your child something to cover their eyes with because this solution can irritate their eyes.
The final step for the removing lice from your child's hair is to comb through their hair with the comb provided in the kit. This comb is specially designed to remove any signs of lice still attached to your child's hair. It is easier to comb through the hair in sections because it will help you ensure that you combed and checked all the hair on your child's head. If you have a child with long hair this will take you quite a bit of time to complete this process. It is important to take your time and make sure everything is removed to prevent a re-infestation of lice.
Cleaning After Head Lice
You will need to thoroughly clean everything in your home that may contain lice and/or lice eggs. This can include stuffed animals, bedding, clothing, hair care items, etc. Anything that can fit in the washing machine and dryer should be washed if it has been in contact with your child or anyone else who recently had head lice. Blankets and pillows should all be washed and then placed in the dryer on high heat.
Items that can not be washed can be placed in garbage bags for about two weeks. This can include stuffed animals, larger pillows, etc. Make sure to seal it bag tightly to ensure the effectiveness in removing the lice from any of the objects inside. After the two week time frame you can remove the items from the bag and vacuum them thoroughly before returning them to their designated locations.
Items in your home such as furniture and mattresses should be vacuumed. You can also treat these items with the spray included in your kit. Remember to follow the directions that are printed on the label.
Finding Lice After Treatment
If your child is continuing to contract head lice you may be missing something. You need to make sure you are cleaning and treating anything that may have lice or lice eggs on it. If you are certain that your child is not re-contracting lice from within your home try and determine where they may be coming from such as, a friends or relatives house, school, sports practice, etc.
Informing Other of Lice
If your child has head lice it is important to tell others that have been in contact with your child. This is important because they will also need to clean items in their homes as well even if they did not personally contract the head lice. This will prevent the head lice from being passed back and forth between different households. It is equally important to make your child's school aware of the situation so that they can check the heads of the other students for lice.
If you child has head lice do not be embarrassed. Head lice prefers clean hair over dirty hair and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Head lice can affect anyone, child or adult.
Steps For Eliminating Head Lice
Treat your child's hair with shampoo designed to eliminate head lice.
Wash all bedding materials and other objects that will fit in the washing machine and dryer. All items must be dried on the highest heat setting.
Wash and dry all materials from child car and booster seats.
Thoroughly comb through your child's hair to remove any lice, nits, or eggs.
Place all items to large for the washing machine into garbage bags for two weeks. Make sure to seal each bag tightly.
Vacuum all car seats. You can also use the Lice Treatment Spray on the car seats.
Add Tea Tree Oil to your daily shampoo and conditioner to help prevent head lice in the future.
Vacuum furniture and mattress thoroughly. You may also use Lice Treatment Spray on these objects.
*Once you have eliminated the head lice you can use Tea Tree Oil for head lice prevention.*