- Kids Health
How to Get Rid of Head Lice - 5 Simple Tips
Head Lice and Nits
One of the most common problems of children of all ages is head lice infestation. These little critters cling to your child’s hair, suck blood from the scalp, and cause itching. Just the thought of having head lice thriving in your sweet little child’s hair is disturbing. While this can be an embarrassing problem for your child, it is important that you assure your kid that he has done nothing wrong. Head lice are just extremely stubborn and have specialized claws that can hold on firmly to the hair. They also lay nits on the hair shaft, which hatch within 1 to 2 weeks. Even if they are not dangerous, it is still important to learn how to get rid of head lice to save your child from possible skin irritation and infection.
What Causes Head Lice?
As mentioned above, it is not your child’s fault if he has head lice. Infestation is not a sign that your child has poor personal hygiene. It’s just that head lice can easily be transferred from person to person through physical contact, which is very common especially for young children who like to play all day. Sharing items like brushes and combs can also cause your child to be infested by head lice. Head lice may also be acquired through contact with contaminated pillows, towels and clothing.
How to Get Rid of Head Lice
1. Use medicated treatments.
There are many over-the-counter head lice treatments available on the market that can help treat head lice. Prescription medications can also be given by the doctor if OTC products are not effective. These treatments come in different forms such as medicated shampoos, cream, and lotion. They contain ingredients that kill head lice and nits. Remember to read the product label and follow the instructions carefully to ensure best results and get rid of head lice fast.
2. Remove lice with a fine-tooth comb.
For children under 2 years of age, you should not use medicated treatments. Their skin is too sensitive and treatments might do more harm than good. In this case, you can use a fine-tooth comb to remove head lice. This will trap the lice as you comb your child’s hair. Wash your child’s hair and use a conditioner to make it easier to comb through the hair. If you want to get rid of head lice naturally, you can also use olive oil or mayonnaise together with combing.
3. Wash beddings, pillows and clothing.
Head lice are not only present on your child’s head. They can also hide in the creases of beddings, pillows and clothing. Remember to avoid using items that a person with head lice used. It is best to wash these items with hot water and put them in the hot cycle of the dryer. Other items that can’t be washed must be dry-cleaned. It would also help if you vacuum your carpet regularly.
4. Do not share hair-care items.
It is very common for kids to share their personal items. Little do they know that this might be the reason why they have acquired head lice. Remind your child that he should not share his personal items to others and also avoid using his friends’ stuff. Combs, brushes and pony tails are among the most common culprits here. You should also wash these items with medicated shampoo to kill head lice.
5. Avoid re-exposure.
In some cases, you might think that treatments for head lice are not effective because the parasites continue to thrive in your child’s head. Many forget to check if their child might just be re-exposing himself to possible causes of head lice. Tell your child the things he must avoid like head-to-head contact with friends and sharing personal items. If you are certain that the treatment you are using doesn't work, consult your doctor and ask if prescription or oral medications are necessary to get rid of head lice.