Lice don’t cause any sort of infection or disease they are just a very annoying parasite.
How Are Lice Transferred From Person To Person?
One would normally get lice from someone if you share something that the lice have latched on to. Sharing things, for example:
- Combs and brushes
- Hats and other headgear
- Sleeping bags
- Stuffed animals
How Do You Know You or Your Child Has Lice?
Intense itching on the back of your head or around the neck area. Apparently this itching happens when the lice bite and suck blood out of the scalp.
How Do You Identify Lice?
These suckers are tiny and they crawl very fast so they can be pretty hard to spot.
The easiest way to identify their location is to look out for little white eggs (nits) using a good light. If you have dark hair or dark skin these white eggs will obviously stand out more than if you have light hair and skin.
Lice vs. Dandruff
Unhatched eggs (nits) are darker in colour and become white when the eggs hatch. This process takes 7 to 11 days after being laid. White, hatched eggs stick to hair when you try to remove them unlike dandruff, which can be more easily flicked or washed out.
How To Get Rid of Head Lice
- Shave the head. If you have a son, this is where I would definitely start off
- Comb the hair using a nit comb to get rid of nits (lice eggs)
- Use a special lice shampoo to kill hatched lice
- Clean your house thoroughly to get rid of lice that have latched onto things already. Wash bedding and clothing, vacuum carpets and furniture and freeze objects that you suspect of being infested
- Suffocate the head lice with a suffocant such as petroleum jelly, mayonnaise, thick conditioners and tea tree oil
- Apply heat above 55 degrees celsius (130 degrees Fahrenheit) to kill lice. If you flat iron hair before using a nit comb the combing process may also be easier. Flat ironing on its own is unlikely to be effective because you won’t be able to get close enough to the scalp without burning the scalp.
- Buy good quality weaves. Weaves, especially, human hair weaves can have lice already on them so washing a weave before you use it is a good idea.
When there’s a lice infestation in a school they normally carry out a large co-ordinated effort involving parents and all teachers to stop it. Kids found with lice may be prevented from attending school until the issue is resolved.