If you’re a parent, mostly of daycare/school aged kids, the chance are you’ve come across the dreaded HEAD LICE or NITS!! I bet just reading that word has made you itch hasn’t it?? It’s made me itch!!
Well don’t panic because we’re about to tell you everything you need to know about those horrible little critters and how to deal with them!
What Are Nits and Head Lice?
- Nits are the eggs laid by head lice and they tend to stick to the hair.
- Nits take 7-10 days to hatch.
- Live lice are usually found crawling close to the scalp and the eggs. They are what cause heads to itch.
- The life cycle from eggs to when the lice die, is approx. 35 days.
- Head lice start off being a pale translucent colour but start to turn brown as they mature.
- Head lice spread by crawling from head to head, or by sharing hairbrushes and hats for example. They can NOT jump or fly.
- Head lice feed on your scalp to survive, so they will NOT live on pillows or sheets etc. They can only be spread if you touch a pillow/hat or hairbrush IMMEDIATELY after someone who is infected.
- Head lice don’t cause or carry disease, but the itching can drive you crazy.
- Head lice are not attracted to dirty or clean hair, it’s the scalp they are after. Contracting head lice also has nothing to do with cleanliness or hygiene. Those little critters are not fussy!
How To Treat Head Lice
The most important things about treating head lice is to break the life cycle from egg to mature lice, otherwise they will just keep on recurring.
- Shampoo your child’s hair with a specific head lice formula. There are so many on the market, that’s it’s best to ask your pharmacist or read the labels carefully when choosing one to suit your child.
- Follow the instructions on the back of the bottle carefully.
- Make sure your child’s eyes are covered as the chemical in some of the shampoos may sting.
- Using a lice comb, comb through their hair in sections to try and get as many of the eggs out as possible. This step is VERY IMPORTANT. Use extra conditioner to make the hair soft and slippy, so it’s less painful when combing.
- Repeat this process a week later to kill any eggs that you may have missed before they hatch.
- Wash all hairbrushes, hats and pillow cases just to be on the safe side.
Happy combing and sorry if we made you itch.