Head Lice: 11 Tips That Parents Are Itching to Know

Parenting has its ups and downs, and the possibility of having to deal with head lice is definitely one of the latter. With several million outbreaks a year, mostly on kids, it’s a fairly common occurrence. You might want to keep the following tips and helpful information in mind.

  • What Are Lice? They are small, about the size of a sesame seed, parasitic insects that feed off the blood under your scalp. They have legs that are perfect for grasping onto and moving along a human hair strand. Their eggs, known as nits, hatch to become nymphs, and then these grow quickly into adult lice.
  • How Head Lice Spread Head lice do not have wings and can’t jump, so crawling is the only means they have to spread. This is why most lice outbreaks occur among children. They’re always coming into physical contact while playing sports or while pushing their heads together to fit in that selfie with friends. Additionally, it’s possible for them to live for very brief periods on an infested person’s hat, helmet or scarf and to spread to another person if they wear this item.
  • How to Spot the Signs of Lice To see if your child has head lice, you need to learn to spot the signs of nits and adult lice. The nits are tiny and yellowish to tan in color. You’ll find them attached to the base of hair follicles. They can look like dandruff except that they won’t come off easily. When checking your child’s scalp for adult lice, it helps to have a magnifying glass handy. When you spot one, you’ll definitely see that it’s a little bug and not simply a flake of skin.
  • Lice Treatments at Your Local Store If you’re like many parents, you’ll run out to the store immediately upon hearing your child has lice and buy a lice shampoo. Sadly, many lice have grown immune to the toxins used over the years in these products. Your child may also have an allergic reaction to these toxins.

lice have grown immune

  • Prescription Head Lice Treatments As with most prescription drugs when compared with their over-the-counter equivalents, they are generally more effective at treating the problem. They do cost more, however, and your pediatrician will simply prescribe it leaving you to, hopefully, correctly apply the treatment.
  • Protecting Other Family Members When you find out one child has lice, your first concern may be to prevent the spread of lice to any other kids you have. Definitely check for their presence on any other family members once you spot them on one child. Fortunately, lice can’t live long when separated from the warm, moist environment near the human scalp. They still may last 48 hours, however, so wash any clothing, especially headgear, worn by the infested child in the last couple days. Use hot water in the washer and the high-heat setting in the dryer. Put items that can’t be washed in a plastic bag.

prevent the spread of lice

  • Combing the Lice Out There are lice combs on the market, so some parents try combing the lice and nits out. The nits, in particular, are very hard to remove, however, and a couple of missed nits or female lice will mean the problem’s not over.
  • Home Remedies You may read about a variety of so-called “home remedies” for head lice. These are promoted on the basis of suffocating the lice by putting oil, mayonnaise or butter on the infested person’s head. Not only are these methods ineffective, but they can be uncomfortable to your child.
  • Remember That Head Lice Are Not Harmful Head lice are more of a nuisance than a danger, so it’s important to keep a proper perspective. Also, they don’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed or socio-economic class, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed about this problem.
  • Seeking Professional Help There are specialized lice salons that do nothing but treat head lice. They should have lice removal options that will even be effective against the “super lice” that have grown immune to over-the-counter treatments. Because they handle the treatment process for you from start to finish (unlike when a doctor prescribes a medication but you have to apply it) they can often guarantee their results.

“super lice”

  • Effective Lice Treatment If you happen to live anywhere near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, our team at Lice Lifters of Lancaster offers a fast, safe and effective lice treatment process that we guarantee. Once you bring your children in, we first verify the presence of lice. We then utilize a specialized lice comb along with a 100 percent all-natural and non-toxic killing solution that’s 99.9 percent effective at killing the lice and their nits. Best of all, we can treat all infested family members at the same time, and you’re all guaranteed to be lice free after one visit.