When a parent receives the news that their child may have been exposed to head lice there are a few simple steps that can be taken to avoid contracting head lice and/or detect if treatment is needed. By following these steps you can provide early detection and elimination.
The first step is to screen your children for live bugs or nits. Live bugs can be difficult to find, the nits are easier to detect.
How To Screen: Look on the hair shaft close to the scalp for nit's. They range in colors from off white to golden or dark brown and are the size of a strawberry/poppy seed. A nit must be scraped off of the hair shaft to be removed. If it moves easily or flakes away it is not a nit. Screen all family members. If you do not find anything begin prevention. If lice or nits are detected scroll down to step 3.
•No Sharing Personal Items
(Brushes, Hats and Pillows)
•Avoid head to head contact.
(Even a hug can spread head lice)
•Keep hair up in a ponytail or braid.
•Use a lice preventative product.
•Screen your child for lice or nits.
(Look on the hair, at the nape of the neck, behind the ears, the crown and the hairline at the front of the face.)
•Use a lice comb regularly.
(Regular combing with a lice comb can provide early detection and prevent infestations. If lice or nits (eggs) are found early enough, you may be able to stop the infestation from spreading to other family members.)
Early detection is important. By finding an infestation early you will be able to quickly begin treatment and avoid the spread of lice between family members. If you detect live bugs or the eggs then immediate treatment is needed to stop the lice life cycle.
Parents have options when treatment is needed. They can perform self treatments with over the counter lice shampoos or they can hire a service to take care of the infestation. We find the fastest most effective way to treat head lice is to hire a professional.
Once the treatment is completed you will have eradicated the infestation. It is important to continue to prevent a re- infestation by following the prevention tips.