Treating children with head lice
30th September 2019
Finding head lice on your children can be distressing but it need not be, this is very common amongst children and there are simple and effective ways in which you can get rid of these nasty critters. This month, Tiny World will be discussing the safe and effective ways to prevent and remove nits, so that your child is head lice free.
What are the causes of head lice?
Also known as nits, head lice spread from child to child. This happens through close contact, particularly when heads are close together. They can transfer from one head to another through hats, scarves, combs, hair bobbles and brushes.
If your child has head lice, this doesn’t mean that they are dirty, head lice prefer clean hair.
Symptoms of head lice
If your child has nits, chances are you’ll catch them scratching and they might express their concern about feeling itchy but they might also have no symptoms.
The best thing to do is to check your child’s hair every day to ensure they are free-from head lice. If they do have them, you may see oval-shaped eggs embedded to the root of some hairs around their scalp.
What are the types of head lice?
There are two types of nits these are:
- White nits – egg cases that have hatched
- Brown nits – these are ready to lay eggs
If you only spot white nits without spotting brown nits, it could be an old nit infection. It doesn’t mean that they are currently active. If you spot both, it means that your child has active nits living in their hair. Either way, you want the old egg cases and the live head lice gone.
Removing head lice with wet-combing
What you need: a fine-toothed metal nit comb and conditioner (any type will do).
How to remove nits through wet-combing:
- Apply ample amounts of conditioner in your child’s damp hair and scalp
- Leave the conditioner in for a good 20 minutes and cover with a shower cap. This will suffocate the nits and will make them come loose from your child’s scalp
- Remove the shower cap after 20 minutes and place the metal comb gently but firmly at the top of their scalp by their parting and brush down
- Clean the brush after each stroke using a cloth or running water – you will be able to see the evidence of the head lice when you do this
- Section the hair out and do this thoroughly and repeatedly – for best results do their whole head a few times
Check the next day and repeat until all of the nits are gone. Wet combing takes time, so keep your child occupied with a book, distract them with conversation or treat them to a little TV time.
Should I use head lice shampoos, lotions and creams?
Anti-lice products can be obtained at your local pharmacy and you needn’t have a prescription either. Typically, locations and creams prove to be more effective than shampoos but be careful of these products on delicate skin. They are known to cause irritation to sensitive scalps. Some people choose to use anti-lice products because they are less time consuming but do check with your doctor before opting for one of these.
How do I prevent head lice from coming back?
If your child has nits, check your entire family to completely eradicate the problem as a whole. Wash bedding, pillows, hats and scarves on a hot setting to kill head lice that may be remaining. Check hairbrushes and combs and wash them to ensure they are nit free.
Can I stop my child from getting nits at nursery or school?
Head lice do not like tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil or lavender oil – use these types of shampoo to prevent nits from transferring onto your child. You can not stop head lice but you can try these methods to lessen the chances of your child getting head lice again.
Here at Tiny World Day Nursery, we have countless years of experience caring for babies and children. This means our knowledgeable team will be able to take great care of your children during their time here at our excellent daycare facilities. You can find our nurseries in Nottingham and Mansfield on Stockhill Lane, Arnold Road and Layton Avenue and take a tour of our buildings today!