10 Facts How to keep lice out of hair?

  1. Teach kids not to share personal grooming items, hair decorations, clips, headbands, hats or clothing.,
  2. Store hats inside coat sleeve or backpack.
  3. If your child has long hair, keep it pulled back in braids or pigtails. Store hair care items separately.
  4. Do not allow kids to lie down or place their heads on the carpet. Vacuum frequently.
  5. Encourage kids to use only their own pillows, blankets, etc. especially at sleepovers!!
  6. Head lice do not cause disease and only live on human heads. They cannot survive more than 1-2 days if they fall off a person.
  7. Remember lice do not jump, fly or hop, they crawl quickly and are spread through direct head to head contact.
  8. Check your child’s head if you notice them scratching. Ask your school nurse if you need help with screening.
  9. Notify other parents with whom your kids have had contact and notify your school nurse.
  10. Recheck (rescreen) at least once a week, make it a routine personal care activity.

Important notes:

  1. Use a good light source ( nature sunlight or strong lamp) while cleaning the hair.
  2. Section off the hair and work in one small area at a time ( metal clips may be helpful).
  3. A metal comb is recommended.
  4. Be patient while cleaning the child hair as it take long time to tackle the problem, so an entertaining video may help keep the child occupied while cleaning his hair.
  5. Do not use a crème rinse, combination shampoo/conditioner, or condition before using lice medicine.

Head Lice
Do not panic! Head lice are not an emergency and, in most cases, do not pose any health risk.

What are head lice( pediculosis)?
Head lice are tiny insects that live on the head and scalp of people, especially young children.

There are three phases of head lice:
Louse is the term used to describe an adult. An adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed and tan to grayish-white in color. Adult lice may live up to 30 days on a person’s head, and the female can lay between 100 to 200 eggs during that lifespan.

Nit is the term for a louse egg. They are very hard to see and may be confused with hair spray droplets or dandruff. Nits are oval and usually yellow to white.

Nymph is the term for a newly hatched baby louse. It differs from an adult louse only in size. Nymphs mature into adults in about 7-10 days.

Who can get head lice?
Head lice have been found on peoples head of all socio-economic levels. It can affect people with high level of personal hygiene. Children, particularly those of ages 3-10 years are most likely to get head lice because of their close contact with each other.

Signs of head lice:

  • Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
  • Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites.
  • Irritability.
  • Sores on the head caused by scratching (these can sometimes become infected)

How are head lice spread?
Live head lice are spread through direct head to head contact with an infected person, but also by sharing hats, combs, and other hair accessories. Head lice do not fly or jump but crawl really quickly.

Step to treat head lice:

  • Use a special shampoo for lice, you can buy it or get it from health centers and use it according to the instruction.
  • Check every member of the family for live lice and nits. Treat only those who have head lice.
  • Nit combs should be used to comb nits and lice from the hair shaft. It may require several hours each time to tackle the problem. Repeat until no more active lice are observed.
  • To kill lice on bedding, clothes, etc., wash in hot water and dry.
  • To kill lice on brushes, combs or hair accessories, soak them in hot water (at least 130F) for 5-10 ,minutes.
  • Retreatment, usually in 7-10 days, is recommended for most medicines in order to kill any newly hatched lice before they produce new eggs.

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