What are head lice?
A head louse is a tiny, wingless insectthat can attach to a person’s hair, where it feeds on extremely small amountsof blood drawnfrom the scalp.Lice aren’t dangerous and they don’tspread disease, howeverthey are very irritating. Lice eggs (nits) are seen more commonly than lice in children.
What are the symptomsof head lice?
· Severe itching of the scalp
· Nits (tiny oval specksthat are reddishbrown and attachedto the hair about an inch away from the head, often behindthe ears and around the neck
· Lice (reddish brown tiny insects on the hair or scalp
· Small, red bumps or a rash on the scalp, that may crust or ooze if severe
· Swollen lymph glands in the neck
Is it serious?
Headlice are not dangerous and they do not spreaddisease, but they are extremely contagious.
How do head lice spread?
Kids play in close proximity, so lice have opportunities to crawl from one littlehead to another.
Prevention tips:Tie back your child’shair and remindyour child not to share hats, combs, helmets or hair accessories with other children.
Some people use lavender or neem oil as a natural repellent. You can mix these oils with waterand mist hair.
How are head lice treated?
· Over thecounter treatments: Headlice may be treated with shampoo. In Indonesia you canbuy Pedi Tox. Read and follow directions carefully, and remember that you must repeat treatmentin 1 week as the shampoowill only kill LICE, not NITS. When the nits hatch treatment must be repeated.
· Conditioner andComb Treatments: Comb hair conditioner through dry hair. Using a comb, dividehair into sections and comb through using a fine tooth nit comb, wipingthe comb with a tissue and checkingfor eggs/lice as you go. This must be repeated 4 or 5 times over thewhole head and then again every second day untilno live lice or eggs arefound.
· Removal of HeadLice and Nits: Lice shampoos DO NOT remove the eggs from the hair. The eggs must be combed out and/or manuallyremoved. Sit behind your child in a room with good lighting to comb through the hair, one section at atime. Use a fine toothed nit comb. Combswith metal teeth work best. Yourchild’s hair should be clean, wet, well combed or brushed to remove tanglesbefore using the louse comb. Aconditioner may help lubricate the hair. Comb through each section until no more lice or nits are found. Clean the comb frequently with a papertowel to removeany lice or eggs.
· Continue to comb dailyuntil no live lice are found, for about 3 weeks. Adult female lice cement eggs to the base of the hairshaft near the scalp.
Combs, brushes, hats, motorbike helmets and otherhair accessories in contact with an infestedperson should be washed in hot water to dislodgeany lice or nits, and should not be shared with otherfamily members.
· Treatment of clothes/household cleaning: All items your child has been in contact with in the past two days,such as towels, pillowcases, sheets, pajamas, clothes, coats, hats and similaritems should be washed in hot waterand dried on high heat for a least 30minutes.
If your symptoms don’t improve after treatment, or suddenly worsen,contact a doctorfor advice.