If you have a child/children between the ages 1 and 5 you have so many things to look out for like the first day at school, new words they learn, their family drawings but not everything you have to look out for is this charming! For eg, Lice!
Lice are the tiny insects that live in the hair. Often seen to be indicators of poor hygiene, lice are also present in the air and kids catch them easily.
Lice fly, jump & swim and easily spread through close contact. Adult lice can live in the hair for at least 30 days and in that period of time the female lice can lay up to 150 eggs also called nits. They are easily contagious and quickly multiply- a deadly combo!
But head lice are not as harmless as they are perceived to be; at the same time, if left untreated or unchecked they can cause a lot of irritation to your child.
So here are some treatments for head lice:
1) Wet combing- This is one of the most common treatments for head lice.
- Wash the hair with shampoo and then condition it.
- Use a wide-toothed comb to disentangle the hair.
- Then use a lice comb and start combing the hair, make sure that the comb is in contact with the scalp and stroke.
- After each stroke check the comb to see if there any lice or nits on the comb.
- If there are lice, then rinse or wipe the comb.
- Continue combing and once you’ve completed the head, rinse out the conditioner.
- Repeat the process till you feel you’ve got them all!
Here’s what you should be looking for:
- Yellow-white eggs stuck to the hair, close to the scalp.
- White empty egg sacs (nits), also stuck to the hair, but further away from the scalp .
- Grey-brown adult head lice, visible on her scalp and hair.
2) Get rid of all the clothes that your child was wearing when he/she caught lice, any stuffed animals or bed covers or sheets which he was using, pack them in an airtight bag so that the lice suffocate and then wash & dry them.
3) Medicinal treatments: If the situation is too grave, visit the paediatrician who will prescribe an appropriate brand of medicinal lice shampoo. Leave the shampoo on for any thing between 10 minutes and 12 hours based on the instruction. Then wash, rinse, wet comb with a wide-toothed comb, then get them all out with the live comb and rinse for the last time. One application may kill the live lice but not necessarily all the eggs, for which you need a second application.
Keep a check on the situation for a few days after; don’t worry if there are eggs, you can just wet comb that but if you find live lice again, you’ll have to go for another medicinal application.
PS: Make sure you use the medicinal shampoo which the doctor recommends. And use it wisely, according to the instructions, use only if there are lice.