When you hear about a head lice outbreak at your school or other parents tell you their children have lice, the first thing you want to know is how to keep your kids from getting them. Honestly, accomplishing this isn’t a simple proposition.
Head lice outbreaks are most common on the hair and scalp of children because of how these tiny, parasitic insects spread. They don’t have big hind legs or wings, so they can’t jump or fly. This leaves crawling from the hair on one person’s head to that of another as their main means of contagion. As a parent, you know that kids are always coming into physical contact while playing, whispering back and forth or pushing together to fit into a picture. You can take some steps such as having kids with long hair tie it up or back and telling them not to share combs, brushes or hats with other kids since this might spread them as well.
HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOUR CHILD HAS LICE
If you see any family member scratching their head a lot, this can be an indicator of head lice. If you notice they have red, bumpy, irritated patches on their scalp, this is another sign. Lice are not dangerous themselves, but they can cause your child to itch so much that they might develop open sores.
When looking for lice, part their hair with a comb near their scalp, and shine a bright light on the scalp near the back of the head. You should do a Google image search for “head lice” first, so you’ll know what you’re looking for. Basically, the lice themselves are about the size of a sesame seed and have six legs that enable them to grasp onto and crawl along our hair. Their eggs, or nits, are smaller, of course, and can range from white to light brown in color. You’ll find the lice scurrying around on the scalp feeding on the blood underneath it or on hair shafts. The nits will be attached to hair strands toward the bottom and near the scalp where the heat helps incubate them. You can tell them from dandruff by the fact that they won’t flake off easily.
SOME NATURAL HEAD LICE REMEDIES
The following natural remedies are suggested by some parents for head lice treatment:
- Combing with a lice comb. There are special combs for removing lice and their nits. You wet your child’s hair, and then you’ll methodically pull the comb through their hair starting from the scalp and all the way out to the ends of the hair strands. This takes time since you can only do it for a relatively small bunch of hair at a time. This method is frequently used in conjunction with other home remedies to complement them.
- Applying mayonnaise or olive oil to the hair and scalp overnight to suffocate the live lice. It has to be done overnight since lice can hold their breath a long time. It only kills live lice though, so you have to do it again in a week to catch those that were nits then.
- While the first method above physically removes the lice and nits and the second method seeks to suffocate them, some parents try dehydrating them. This can be attempted through extended use of a hair dryer on its maximum setting. Another way used by some is to put diatomaceous earth powder on the hair and scalp for several hours and then rinse it off.
PROFESSIONAL HEAD LICE TREATMENT
Taking any children with lice to a lice salon to be treated may be your best option. Lice Lifters of Lancaster is an example of such an establishment in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The certified lice technicians here will do a head check to determine lice are the problem, and then they use a combination of combing and applying proven products that are all-natural and safe to eradicate them. This option gives you the peace of mind of a guarantee for the results, and they’ll get it done for your family in a single trip.