Some things that children pick up when they go out and meet other kids outside or in school are really good - like education, social skills, how to be independent and such stuff. There are some other things that kids pick up that might not be as nice - like swearing, lying, cheating, and head lice.
These yucky creatures are easily transferred from one kid to another and then cause all sorts of problems for your baby. Lice are the most common communicable infestations. It could affect your children from when they’re as young as 6 months old. Irrespective of how old/rich/clean your child is, they can always get head lice.
What are these lice like?
Well, they can’t hop or jump or even fly. They are usually transmitted through direct contact with another body which has lice, like another person or the comb of someone who has lice.
These lice draw blood every 4 to 5 hours. They bite, and these bites cause itching and discomfort on the scalp.
The worst part about the lice is the fact that they can lay upto 180 eggs (nits) in their 30-day-old lives. So imagine if your kid’s head is filled with lice, how many eggs could possibly be there!
What are the symptoms of head lice?
If your baby is extremely itchy on the scalp behind the ears and at the back of the neck, it is most likely to be lice. Check the hair and look carefully at the scalp and the bottom of the hair strand. The nits will be visible, in the shape of a teardrop and slightly difficult to dislodge.
Once you are sure that your child has head lice, make sure to check all the other members of your family too. It is probable that others who come in contact with your kids also have lice.
How do I get rid of head lice?
It is not difficult to get rid of head lice. All it takes is a little patience. Here are a few tips:
- Use child anti-lice shampoos that have been specially-formulated. Some of the best ones available are Mediker Anti-Lice Treatment, Apollo Pharmacy Keeto Care Anti-Lice Shampoo, 7. New Lice Shield Shampoo & Conditioner in One, Biotique Bio Henna Leaf Shampoo.
- Another method is to remove the lice manually. Especially for the nits, it would be better if they are removed manually and you ensure that they don’t come back.
- Take the help of someone you know who is experienced.
- Consider cutting the hair short.
- Use a special hair removal comb. Dip it into the water before going to the next one. Remember to be gentle with the head as these combs can be quite harsh.
- Wash all personal belongings with hot water and dry them in the sunlight. This way, even if they remain in your belongings, they’ll be washed away. Anything that can’t be washed or dry-cleaned should be put into a plastic bag, sealed and left for 2 weeks. Lice can’t survive off the scalp for more than 24 hours but their eggs can and they take up to 10 days to hatch.
- Do not at any cost use pet shampoo or kerosene, as they can be dangerous.
- For sofas and stuff, use a vacuum cleaner to remove lice and fallen hairs with nits.
- Pro Tip - Boiling a bunch of neem leaves and basil leaves, and wash your kids’ hair with it regularly to get rid of dandruff and lice.
The most important thing is to teach your child to be careful about personal hygiene. Ask them not to share combs and personal belongings. However close s/he and their friends are, when it comes to lice, they absolutely need to stay away!