|Written by Donna Thacker|
School has started up and your child will probably come home with all kinds of books and papers. He or she may come home with a case of head lice as well. It seems that the schools have a hard time keeping this condition in check, so it is up to the parent to examine their child thoroughly whenever an outbreak occurs.
1. Watch for any signs that your child is scratching their head excessively. If there have been known cases of head lice at the school, check your childâ€™s head even if they arenâ€™t scratching.
2. Sit the child under a very bright light, such as the lights above a bathroom vanity. Lice are very small and nearly translucent, so you need to look very carefully. The back of the neck, at the hairline, and the hair behind the ears are the predominate areas to check for the head lice.
3. Use your fingers to part through small section of the hair. Lice will move very fast, so watch carefully for any signs of movement in the hair shafts. The lice are only about an 1/8th of an inch long. Have someone help you, if your eyes arenâ€™t the best.
4. Check the hair shafts for nits. These will look like tiny specks or grains of salt. They are often confused for flakes of dandruff. To be sure, you can blow on the hair that has the lice nit. If it is dandruff or dry scalp it will blow away. If it is head lice nit, it will not budge. Nits attach their selves to the hair shaft and must be removed.
5. If you find evidence of lice, do not panic. Do not make the child feel ashamed or â€śdirty.â€ť Anyone can get head lice, especially school aged children. They are bugs that can transfer from child to child quit easily.
6. Wash the childâ€™s hair in a lotion designed to treat head lice. There are many on the market. You can either ask your doctor for a prescription or you can buy it over the counter. The quicker the head lice are discovered, the quicker you can get rid of them.
7. Do not be too embarrassed to notify the school that you found head lice on your child. This is the best way to curb a head lice outbreak, before it becomes an epidemic. Educate your child in how to avoid head lice contamination. IE: Do not use other peopleâ€™s combs or brushes; do not wear a friendâ€™s hat, coat or jacket. Never pile their coat on top of other kidâ€™s coats.