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Lice: What Are They And How To Get Rid of Them!

HEAD LICE

 

An infestation of head lice commonly occurs in school-aged children. Although an infestation by lice may be harmless (as lice themselves are not known to carry disease) it can be an extremely anxiety provoking experience for parents.

 

The following is information directly from the CDC website: “Head lice move by crawling; they cannot hop or fly. Head lice are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person. Anyone who comes in head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk. Spread by contact with clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (such as combs, brushes, or towels) used by an infested person is uncommon. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.”

 

First line treatment of head lice as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics is 1% Permethrin which is available over the counter.

Some other at home measures recommended by our nurses to get rid of persistent lice:

-Day 4 after first treatment: Gold Listerine- saturate hair for 10 minutes, rinse out and comb out nits

-Over-the-counter furniture spray is available for cars, couches, etc.

-Comb out nits every day using nit comb, cleaning off comb after each comb through hair to ensure nits are not re-introduced to hair

-Use coconut shampoo and conditioner (Suave makes for about 0.98 cents)

-Pillows, hats, scarves, stuffed animals, hair bands, headphones, etc may be placed in trash bag for 2 weeks as lice will not survive   without human host.

-Anything that is able to be washed, such as bedding, sheets, pillows, and blankets, should be washed in hot water and dried twice

-Bed pillow: wash and dry as above. Put pillow in trash bag, seal with tape. Put pillowcase over trash bag and replace pillowcase everyday

(this step alleviates washing pillow everyday).

-sweatshirts, hoodies: before you put in washing machine, turn hoods right side out

-replace hairbrush- may purchase several brushes from dollar store and replace daily until cleared

-May need to re-treat according to over-the-counter treatment directions after 7-10 days.

For more complete information on head lice, diagnosis, resistance strains and treatment, go to:

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/126/2/392.full?sid=e0db2bd1-55fd-4e64-af14-61cb3ba42684

 

http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/

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