Although nits lice infestations are common, they are still something that makes children, parents, teacher and health care providers uneasy. Fortunately, these infestations are not harmful for the carrier, and these insects can be killed and removed from the hair and scalp easily.
What Are Lice?
Head lice are insects that attach themselves to a person’s scalp and feeds off of the person’s blood. Lice can be very hard to detect in a person’s hair, especially a person with thick hair for two reasons. One reason is because lice are very small, and two, they are mobile.
Lice generally lay eggs on the hair shaft and these eggs are referred to nits. It is the observation of these nits that is the first indication there is an infestation.
Who Is Susceptible To Getting Lice?
Anyone can become a host of these white, mobile, unwelcomed insects. However, those who are at the highest risk of getting head lice are young children and those who provide care for them. This list includes parents, teachers and babysitters.
The lice are transferred through the sharing of hair brushes, combs, hats and other items that are used on the hair or placed on the head.
It is important to note that the only way nits lice infestations can spread from one person to another is if the two people have indirect or direct contact. They are not able to jump or fly from person to person. They thrive in hair, and they can only survive for a brief time on combs, brushes or in hats. This means that if they are not able to come into contact with a human head for warmth and food within a few days, they will become dehydrated and die.
How Can You Treat Lice?
Even with the best hygiene, lice can still make their appearance on your child’s head. So, what can you do when that happens? Many parents instantly feel guilty and embarrassed. They believe that the infestation will be seen by others as a reflection of the family’s cleanliness, or lack thereof.
The presence of lice is not an indication of how clean or dirty your child or home is, and there are several ways you can treat these infestations.
The first thing that you can do is used a ‘nit comb’ to confirm the presence of lice and nits in your child’s hair. Over the counter medicated soaps, known as pediculicides, can be applied to dry hair for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing out. Most medical experts consider these products safe to use as long as they are used according to the instructions that accompany the product.
Everyone Should Be Checked
Anyone who lives in the same household as the child and classmates should all be treated for lice and nits before the affected person is. This way, everyone can be treated at the same time, and it will prevent the spread of the lice back and forth between people.
Anyone affected by lice should have all of their bedding and clothing washed 48 hours prior to treatment. This will kill any lice that may have come off of the person’ scalp.
Even though some parents may want to wash everything including stuff animals, it is often recommended but may not be necessary. In fact, these items can be placed inside of a clothes dryer set to high for 20 minutes.
Nits lice infestations, although unpleasant, does not cause disease or harm to your child. Teach your child preventative measures like not sharing hair related items, and if discovered, use approved medicated shampoos to get rid of these pesky insects.