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Head Lice information and what can be done to get rid of them.

Head lice

A common Sense approach !

Firstly Don’t
Panic !! 

almost certainly aren’t alone in dealing with an infestation of head



  • Y
    child will not realize that anything ‘horrible’ is happening on
    their scalp! (Head lice prefer clean heads to dirty ones so be assured
    that an infestation is not because of bad hygiene)
  • .

  • Y
    child may even think that head lice are normal. Especially if friends
    are having the same symptoms and talk freely about ‘itchy heads’
    with their friends.

  • P
    Views on treatment change… but it is a good idea to start a routine
    of regularly checking your child’s hair. Once a week should be
    enough to determine if they have caught head lice.

  • F
    the 3 step wet combing method;
    this can be done in or out of the bath. Try and make it an enjoyable
    time, share what’s happened to you both during the day.

  • S
    you find any unwelcome visitors on your child’s head, it would be a
    positive gesture to inform your child’s pre school setting or school
    (and any other place they attend)

  • C
    everyone else’s hair too.

As more and more parents find it hard to spend time combing their
child’s hair, they are resorting to using chemical based treatments.
Unfortunately as a result of this the head lice have become resilient to
some prescription treatments and they will continue to build resistance to
others if used too widely.

Following the natural 3 step wet combing method helps to break the life
cycle of the louse without having to use harsh treatments on your
child’s head.

  • I
    can however be very distressing for children who suffer from severe
    itching as a result of an infestation.
  • So
    early advice from the doctor on the best course of treatment is
    essential, before the child damages their scalp because of scratching.
    (applying chemicals to broken skin could be extremely painful)

  • Never

    treat with chemicals ‘just in case’ your child has head lice.

  • I
    you do need to treat your child with a formula/chemical – always read
    the treatment advice and follow the instructions carefully.

  • I
    is not your child’s fault they have caught the head lice…. 
    (this infection is the 2nd most common in

  • P
    make sure there are good communication links between home and all the
    settings your child attends, as an outbreak of head lice can become
    quickly widespread.
  • Ask
    your school/setting if they have free
    nit combs available for parents. Inquire as to whom you could
    speak to in order to find out any other relevant information on what
    the school/setting is doing about outbreaks of head lice infestations
    and what support they offer parents who have to deal with treatments
    at home. 

  • If
    they do not have access to free combs you will need to buy one (the
    teeth on this comb are closer together than a normal hair comb, so that
    they trap lice in between) nit combs are widely available in good


Activities you and your child can do at home

  • H
    your child practice brushing and combing their own hair. 
    This increases their confidence and knowledge about taking care
    of their hair and they will be able to recognize the symptoms of a
    head lice infestation when it happens.

  • H
    they a doll or teddy that could be used for combing or brushing it
    might be easier to start practicing techniques on these first!

  • M
    your child could invent a new party style for you! (do have another
    adult around to help in an emergency if child is to comb your
    hair…it’s hard to get a tangled brush out of your own hair!!!)

  • D
    you have a pet in need of a bath! Let your child help comb/brush out
    the fur.

  • T
    out different shampoos and conditioners to see which smell your child
    likes the most!

  • U
    the coloring pictures supplied in the PDF to talk to your child openly
    about the head lice so that they are aware of what to feel should
    there be another infection, comment on the fact that this is quite
    usual and lots of people/children have head lice and that together you
    are going to work at getting rid of them.

  • E
    that you need to know when their head itches or feels funny! (itching
    is not always present as a symptom) 

is the key to getting rid of these annoying ‘Parasites’


Step wet combing method

Wet the hair 



a conditioner

gently all over 


comb through the hair close to scalp (with a nit comb) 

comb frequently

the comb off onto a piece of tissue.



Lice Facts

  • H
    lice do NOT jump/hop or
    leap from head to head but climb hairs when heads are close together.

  • T
    are reports that head lice can live off of the head for up to 36 hours
    once it has left the scalp, and whilst they move incredibly slowly
    during this time there is a chance that they could be transferred to
    other scalps by the following methods –

    • Sharing
      hats or other head garments

    • Hair
      brushes and combs

    • Hair
      drying towels 

    • Pillows
      could be turned over each night in order to prevent re-infestation.

  • D
    heat kills lice – Tumble drying clothing and linen will remove them.

These may seem like ‘over the top’
precautions to take, but where head lice are concerned it is always better
to be aware of other steps you can take to help eradicate them from your
family heads and home.

How do you know its head lice?


The adult resembles a sesame seed or a grain of rice and is light brown
– grey in color they are also slightly transparent. 


They move very quickly over the scalp and are hard to see. 


The Eggs as shown in the diagrams are incredibly small. 


The live dark brown egg cases (nit) are glued strongly to the hair, close
to the scalp. 


They are stuck on so well that you will have to use your nails to scrap
it off of the hair. It will not be flaky, loose or crumbly.


Once the louse has hatched out, the egg case (nit) turns white and
gradually makes its way down the hair as the hair grows naturally.


Dark brown/black colored egg case close to the scalp is live (louse is
about to hatch)

A white/cream colored nit that is attached to the hair further down the
hair – is dead (louse has already hatched)

It would be worth asking the doctor/health
official what information they have about natural ‘Neem’ remedies.

Local specialist homeopathy/health shops should
stock a range of herbal Neem
products. This tree based substance eradicates lice and nits by attacking
their nervous system and may be the way forward in helping to control the
spread of these parasites



lice Rhyme




and comb

will leave

the lice

without a home.



More information on this subject can be found at –

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



Ideas & Activities for the Under Fives, Foundation Stage &
Early Years


– 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.