School time can be a great time to learn new things, make lots of friends, and enjoy several activities with teachers and classmates. However, this can also pave the way for the spread of head lice.
Head lice are spread primarily by head-to-head contact and the common victims of this bloodthirsty critter are preschool and middle school children in the 6th, 7th and 8th grades.
These tiny insects make their home in the scalp and feed on blood. The scientific term for head lice infestation is pediculosis capitis and your child could be the next victim!
Contrary to popular belief, the presence of head lice does not mean your child is dirty or lives in a dirty place. These insects do not carry diseases but they love children. While they do not jump or fly, lice can easily transfer from one child to another as a result of direct contact.
You or your child may not be aware of the presence of lice but common signs include an itchy scalp, neck or ears. Symptoms usually start two to six weeks after infestation. Lice are small and difficult to see but you cannot miss their eggs or nits on the hair shaft. These are often found around the ears and the hairline of the neck.
Like kids, lice go to school and spread easily there because of close contact among schoolchildren. These kids play together, engage in physical activities, and share personal items like combs, headbands and ribbons. Lice and nits can also be found in headphones, hats, caps, scarves, jackets, sweaters, and sports uniforms.
During camping and sleepovers, children may share pillows and linen – giving lice a lot of opportunities to transfer from one scalp (or hair) to another.
Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent your child from getting head lice and eliminate those that are already ready on the scalp.
If possible, tell your child to limit or avoid physical contact with other kids at school. Discourage your kid from sharing personal items like combs and other hair accessories. Instruct your child to avoid shared spaces where infected hats and clothes of other students are kept.
If your child already has lice, it is safe to presume that these are also present in his or her uniform, clothes and personal items. To eliminate lice, wash infected items in hot water and dry them well.
Clothes and other items that cannot be washed can be dry cleaned or placed in a plastic bag for two weeks. Lice that are unable to feed die in one to two days while nits survive for only a week when not on the scalp.
Vacuum and clean the house thoroughly. Lastly, use an effective, safe and affordable head lice treatment shampoo like LiceAliz that works for both adults and children as young as two years old. This contains a natural ingredient made from chrysanthemum flowers called pyrethrin that kills lice.
Use the product like any other regular shampoo. Apply to the hair, lather and rinse after 10 minutes. This can be used twice a week for two weeks. Afterwards, use it once a week to prevent head lice from coming back.
LiceAliz has a conditioner for softer, smoother hair and another variant has menthol for a cool, refreshing feeling.