Head Lice

head-liceHead lice, at the sound of it we all shiver. Contrary to popular belief head lice has nothing to do with poor hygiene, it’s just a fact of life and can happen to anyone at any age.

Nits are tiny eggs that the lice lay, they look similar to specs of dandruff. However unlike dandruff these tiny critters hold on for dear life to the hair follicles and can’t just be flicked away like dandruff.

Itching is often the most common symptom however sometimes no symptoms are found. Thus it is so important that parents take active measures to continually screen their kids especially at the start of school terms, when most outbreaks seem to happen from our experience.

So the question is then how do you look for lice in your kid hair?

The answer is simple. Put a bit of kids conditioner on your kids dry hair and use a good brush to comb it through. After brushing wipe the brush on a piece of fabric (black is the easiest) and start looking.

The great news is that head lice is relatively simple to treat.

If you notice eggs and lice go to your pharmacy and ask for a head lice treatment. There are so many types, some natural, some chemical and some may be hocus pocus. So get your pharmacist to give you some advice or see your family doctor if you are unsure as to what to use.

Sadly with all the marvels of medicine we don’t have something that kills both lice and eggs at the same time, so it is highly encouraged that treatment be repeated in 7 days so you can kill these newly hatched eggs.

Family members should be all screened and treated. If your child goes to preschool or school, do the right thing and contact the school to let them know. That way other parents can check their kids. There is no shame in this as it prevents the spread of head lice.

One question we get asked often, is head lice easily spread? The simple answer is yes but only if your child gets into very close contact with it.

The advice provided on healthykid.com.au is of a general nature and in no way should replace your therapeutic relationship with your doctor

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