Things Parents Need to Know About Head Lice
If your child recently caught head lice, you might want to know exactly what the insects are and discover the right lice treatment for kids. First, don’t worry – lice are common in children, especially those kids attending school. And the lice are more of a nuisance than a danger.
However, there are some things concerning lice in children you should know. If nothing else, you need to understand how to treat them and reduce the possibility of a future infection. Read on for some helpful facts about head lice.
What’s Bugging Your Kid?
Lice are parasitic insects that feed on human blood, particularly in the body regions with hair. There are some variants among the bugs, but when it comes to the ones that infest children, we’re most likely talking about head lice. These live on the scalp and can be found in three forms: adult lice (which produce head lice eggs), nits (which hatch into nymphs), or baby lice.
How to Detect Head Lice?
The common symptoms of the presence of lice in children and adults are itching and a tickling sensation on the head. The head lice can also leave bite marks that can turn red if scratched, especially on the neck and shoulders.
Even if you miss some of these symptoms, the lice can also be visible – the adults are about the size of a sesame seed and can appear on the hair or clothing. Meanwhile, head lice eggs are very tiny, but can be seen around the ears or the nape of the neck. Bear in mind that nits could be mistaken for dandruff, but unlike dandruff they’re very hard to brush off.
Hygiene's Not the Problem
Some people tend to think head lice are a sign of bad hygiene. This, however, is incorrect. Lice spread mainly through head-to-head contact, which can happen during children’s playtime, but can also transmitted via infected furniture or items that are closely stored. Another way head lice can spread is through sharing items, such as clothing, and accessories, that come into direct contact with the head of an infected person.
Best Lice Treatment for Kids
If you’ve determined your child has lice, there are several remedies at your disposal. Lice treatment for kids can take up to three weeks to ensure there are no leftover head lice eggs, baby lice, or adults.
The first and foremost method for treating lice in children is using a fine-toothed comb. The hair should be wet and thoroughly combed through, stand by strand, to remove individual lice. Combing this way is helpful and recommended even when other remedies are applied.
There are many medicines for lice treatment for kids, some of which don’t require a prescription. Even with the over-the-counter treatments, the most reliable way to find out the best medicine for your child is to visit the doctor. Please note that the medicine should be used carefully, strictly following the directions on the package, and children should never be left to apply it by themselves.
Apart from the usual medicines, there are alternative methods, but they’re not proven to work all of the time. Then again, head lice have been proven to develop a resistance to some of the usual medicines, so if those don’t work, you should talk to your doctor about trying out oils or other home remedies.
No More Head Lice?
Whatever approach you take, have confidence that your lice problem will be solved and your child will be rid of the pesky bugs. Since there’s no foolproof way to prevent them from returning and your child gets a new infestation of head lice, this new knowledge about the annoying infection might come in handy again.