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Treating head lice; facts about head lice and how to treat them.



Treating Head Lice

by Margaret Tye

Your children getting head lice is probably one of the worst fears of a
parent and yet it is one of the most common health problems. If your
children grow up without ever catching them you are lucky indeed.

Head lice cannot jump, they crawl from head to head which is why they
are so common amongst children who tend to sit close together. If your
child does get infected it is wise to wash all bedding and treat
furniture where their heads may have rested, but healthy head lice tend
to stay on heads rather than move. However sharing combs or brushes
where the lice may have been removed during combing will spread them.

  

The life cycle of lice is about a month. The lice eggs or nits are
attached to the hair close to the scalp and are very hard to remove.
They hatch in 7 to 10 days and reach adulthood in another 6 to 10 days.
They then live for another 20 days laying about 10 eggs a day.

Head lice are difficult to treat and to prevent the infection recurring,
vigilance is needed to ensure that no eggs remain to hatch. Not everyone
actually gets an itchy head so if someone in the family is infected all
heads should be checked. Some people find the idea quite horrendous,
when my granddaughter became infected my daughter would shake when she
was trying to remove them. As a primary school teacher I had seen so
many infected children I was unmoved.

  

Unfortunately head lice are becoming immune to chemical treatment and
many parents prefer not to use it anyway. Another solution is to use
hair conditioner, left for a while, then combed with a nit comb. If you
wipe the comb on a piece of tissue you will see the head lice even if
they were invisible on the head. This has to be repeated every 3 days
for at least two weeks to ensure any newly hatched eggs are caught.
Personally we found that olive oil, which we left on overnight after
combing, worked better and left the hair in a lovely condition. 

However
the problem kept recurring and finally I bought a battery operated flea
comb designed for pets which we found very effective. I have noticed
that these are now advertised for head lice. If you do decide to use
one, check that the manufacturer guarantees that it is safe to use on a
child. 

You should always discuss any treatment with your doctor before
starting, remember a child’s skin is very sensitive.

Whatever method you choose, don’t become complacent, keep checking.

 

Article Originally
supplied by From Tots 2 Teens


More information on this
subject can be seen at –

Parts
1
,
2, 3,
4
,
5, 6 and
7

Also


Headlice Information, remedies and games.

 

IMPORTANT
– Hints and Things does not necessarily endorse or recommend any or all of
the suggestions contained on these pages.  We would never recommend the
use of pet shampoos, kerosene, etc., especially on children.  They may
well get rid of the lice but can be dangerous and may call health problems
in the future. Professional advice should be sought before use.