Nits and Lice: Facts Every Parent Should Know

Published on August 26, 2019

We know how annoying the feeling of tiny parasitic insects crawling in your head is! Although it’s very common for school going children to get head lice, it’s a matter of concern for parents to get rid of the infestation.

First and foremost, you have to learn that, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Your child having head lice doesn’t indicate that he/she is dirty nor does it reflect on the cleanliness of your home. Children get head lice because they are very close to other kids (possibly infected with head lice) while they play or sit next to each other at school/playground.

A few know-hows about lice: 

  • Lice can easily spread between children through 
  • direct hair-to-hair contact 
  • indirectly by sharing hats, combs, scarves, pillows
  • Head lice don’t fly but crawl very quickly when the heads come in contact/drop by on materials that touch the head
  • Lice usually inhabit at the bottom of the neck and behind the ears

Head lice can be treated at home. The first thing that comes into notice as a symptom is your child itching and scratching. To treat head lice, you can go by wet-combing method or use an anti-lice solution.

Since lice crawl fast, it’s better to work through small sections of hair making sure to cover every area. Look for nits and active lice. Nits are eggs that are laid by lice. White nits that stick close to roots, are eggs that have already hatched. Whereas brown-black nits contain live eggs that will hatch into lice. To stop the nits and lice cycle, you need to get rid of the live lice. If you find nits, you may have to keep checking for when they hatch into lice. Or you may try picking the eggs before they hatch. 

During the course of treatment, ensure disinfecting items by washing them in hot water.  Items such as hats, combs, pillowcases, hair accessories, bedding are to catch lice just in case lice drop off the scalp. However, off the scalp, lice don’t live for long, so there is no need for extra cleaning.

Lastly, don’t forget to follow up two weeks from your first comb-out. You do not want to miss even a single lice.

PS: If you have kids/adults who share a bed with the affected child, you should treat them too, regardless of an itchy scalp or lice found.

Catching itchy scalp symptoms early and treating it will help you stop a head lice problem at its roots.

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