It’s easy to determine if a child has head lice. One of the first clues is that they will continually be scratching their heads, even when they are fresh from the shower. Your child may also feel a tickling sensation when the lice move around their heads. Upon close inspection of your child’s scalp, you will get to see the suspect: black wingless insects that are about the size of a sesame seed. You will also notice small white egg-like things that are attached to strands of hair—these are lice eggs or nits. At the first sign of lice, you should be careful—it is easy to spread around the house. Take care not to share things like hairbrushes, pillows, beddings and blankets among the family and wash your child’s clothes and beddings separately immediately, especially those that come into contact with the head. Wash them in hot water and heat dry for at least 20 minutes—try to do the same with combs and brushes. You should also vacuum around the house, especially in your child’s bedroom.
It is fairly easy to get rid of head lice in children. There are shampoos that are specially formulated to kill head lice, those with active ingredients like pyrethrin or permethrin. These are over the counter shampoos that can easily be bought in drug stores. If the lice prove to be resistant to these shampoos, a stronger shampoo may be needed. These are usually available only through prescription, containing active ingredients like malathion, benzyl alcohol and lindane. You could also use a very fine toothed comb on wet, soapy hair, to get rid of most nits. Others prefer to also manually look for and remove hair lice from the head.
In order to prevent your child from getting head lice in school, you should advise her not to share or use other children’s brushes, combs or hair accessories. They should also be told to avoid putting their heads right next to other kids’.