There are reports of head lice in our school. Therefore, we suggest you check your son or daughter’s hair closely at home.
Head lice are parasites that are found on the scalp mostly around the ears and the back of the neck.
Lice have brown colours whereas eggs (nits) are white and attached to the hair.
The nits, unlike dandruff, do not flake away from the hair but are cemented to the hair shaft.
Head lice and nits can be common in young children and their family.
They don’t have anything to do with poor hygiene because they can spread only by contact.
HOW TO CHECK IF IT’S HEAD LICE
Head lice are small insects, up to 3mm long, and can be difficult to spot.
Head lice can make your head feel itchy or like something is moving in your hair.
The only way to be sure someone has head lice is by finding live lice and nits.
You can do this by combing the hair with a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb). You can buy these online or at pharmacies.
HOW TO GET RID OF HEAD LICE
Treat head lice as soon as you spot them.
You should check everyone in the house and start treating anyone who has head lice on the same day.
Lice and nits can be removed by wet combing (detection comb). You can find a special fine-toothed comb in the pharmacies to remove head lice and bits.
-Wash hair with ordinary shampoo
-Apply lots of conditioners (any conditioner will do)
-Comb the whole head of hair, from the roots to the ends.
Do wet combing on days 1, 5, 9 and 13 to catch any newly hatched head lice. Check again that everyone’s hair is free of lice on day 17.
Ask your pharmacist for advice to use MEDICATED LOTIONS AND SPRAYS if you have tried wet combing for 17 days, but your child still has live head lice.
Remember some treatments aren’t recommended because they’re unlikely to work and of doubtful value.
IS THERE A WAY TO PREVENT HEAD LICE?
There’s no proven medical product which prevents head lice.
Do not use medicated treatment lotions and sprays to try to prevent head lice because they can irritate the scalp.
The only measure is to try to avoid direct contact:
-combs and brushes
-hair clips and accessories
-hats and bike helmets
-scarves and coats
You can help stop them from spreading by wet or dry combing regularly to catch them early.
There’s no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice.
But please notify the school and the other class parents as soon as possible in case you found head lice.
Text by Romano Tetamo (AGSEP Committee)