Steps To Take When Your Child Has Head Lice

Health & Medical Blog

Head lice is a type of very small insect that infests scalps and feeds on human blood. While having lice does not present a danger to a person's health, it can be uncomfortable, and head lice treatment should begin promptly. Head lice is often spread in school, since children tend to be in close contact with each other. If you learn that your child has lice, or there has been an outbreak of head lice among classmates, take the following steps:

Purchase Medicated Shampoo

At the first sign of lice, visit a drug store and purchase a medicated shampoo to use to wash your child's hair with along with a nit comb. Carefully follow the directions on the shampoo and be sure to leave it on for the recommended amount of time. After treating your child's hair for lice, make sure he or she puts on freshly-laundered clothes.

After the medicated treatment, use a nit comb with metal teeth to remove the eggs and dead lice from your child's hair. It is best to divide your child's hair into sections and slowly and carefully comb each section to thoroughly remove all eggs and lice. You will need to continue to use the nit comb for several days; if there is any evidence of live lice, you will need to wash your child's hair again with medicated shampoo.

Begin Doing Laundry 

If you want to avoid a lice breakout among family members in your home, begin doing laundry as soon as you learn that your child has lice. Wash all of your child's bed linens, towels, and any clothing or hats that have recently been worn in the hottest setting your washing machine has, and then dry them in the hottest setting your dryer has. 

Clean the Area

Thoroughly vacuum the carpeting and any upholstered furniture in your child's bedroom and the living areas in your home. Continue to vacuum every day while you are treating your child for lice. After vacuuming, immediately remove the vacuum bag or the contents of the vacuum canister from your home and dispose in an outdoor trash can.

Notify Anyone That Your Child Has been in Contact With

Let your child's teacher and the parents of his or her friends know that lice has been detected. If your child has siblings, let their teachers know that they have been exposed to lice at home. Continue to check your child's hair and scalp for lice until you are confident that all of the eggs and lice have been removed. 


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