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Treatment of Head Lice

One of the first signs of head lice is the itching and scratching of the head. It's a good idea to check your child’s head in bright light every week. Adult lice move quickly, are different sizes and are hard to see, so you may notice the nits first. Look for nits by parting hair in small sections with a pointed object that will not scratch the scalp. Look close to the scalp for new nits and go from one side of the head to the other. It might help to brush the hair over a sink or a white towel. 

What to do when someone has head lice:
  • Do something about it THAT day.
  • Notify others who have been in direct contact with your child including schools, day cares, friends and family.
  • Check everyone in your family for nits or head lice daily for 14 days. Treat the same day you find nits.
  • Do not use a lice treatment as a prevention method. Only use treatment if lice or new nits have been found in that person’s hair. 
Head lice treatment can be found at most drug stores. Make sure you follow the directions carefully and that you follow up with a second treatment. Use all of the treatment that is recommended or it will not work.
Tips for treatment:
  • Only treat when nits or live head lice are present -head lice products do not prevent head lice.
  • Wear plastic or rubber gloves to avoid unnecessary exposure to the treatment product.
  • Wrap a towel tightly over the child's eyes to protect them during treatment.
  • If you see live head lice 24-48 hours after treatment, immediately treat again with a different product.
Removal of nits from the hair is necessary to prevent further spread. It takes time, but is the most important step.
Tips for removing nits:
  • Pull off each nit by grasping it with your fingernails and sliding it off the hair strand.
  • Throw nits into a garbage bag and seal it.
  • Nit combs do not work easily to remove the eggs but work well to remove live lice.
  • Check for and remove nits every 2-3 days for 4 weeks.
 Avoid home remedies for treatment as there is no scientific proof that they work. This includes: Vaseline, tea-tree oil, etc. NEVER use flea control products, turpentine, or paint thinner to treat lice.