Head lice & Children

Head lice and nits are a concern for parents.

Head lice are tiny insects that live in people’s hair and are a common problem in schoolchildren aged 4 to 11 years old. Nits are eggs of the head lice or empty eggshells that are left behind. While they are mostly harmless, head lice can live on the human head for a long time if left untreated. They can irritate children and be frustrating to deal with.

There is also the social stigma that is associated with head lice. When people hear about it, there is the assumption that your child is dirty or not well looked after. This is a myth. Dirty hair is not a contributing factor to the likelihood of your child getting lice. That said, the stigma, unfortunately, remains.

In this Chemist Direct article, we look at ways how parents can help their children with head lice.

But is it possible?

Can you Prevent Head Lice?

No, no method prevents your child from getting lice completely.

Having either clean or dirty hair does not impact your child’s chances of getting head lice and it is very difficult to prevent. So parents should not feel too bad if your child comes home with lice.

However, there are some easy steps you can take to help avoid head lice.

Avoid Sharing Head-touching Items

One way you can help your child reduce their chances of catching them is to tell them not to share items that touch their head.

  • This can be difficult for your child, especially at school. However, this can be an opportunity for head lice to land on your child’s head. That’s why its good practice for them to avoid;
  • Combs & Hairbrushes
  • Hair accessories such as clips and scrunchies
  • Hats
  • Bike helmets
  • Scarves & Coats
  • Towels
  • Earbuds & headsets

Limit Head-to-Head Contact

Head-to-head contact can increase your child’s risk of catching head lice. It doesn’t take much but brief moments of contact can be just enough time for lice to crawl or leap over onto your child’s head.

So, you should ask your child to avoid activities and games that can lead to this contact with classmates and other friends. This can be difficult and sometimes it's impossible for your child to completely avoid this.

One tip to help, if your child has long hair, put it into ponytails or braids. This way, long hair can help limit opportunities for lice to make contact with their head.

Spot Head Lice Early

As a parent, being vigil and proactive is important to keep on top off head lice. If you are still helping your child to bathe or help them with their hair, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to check if your child has head lice.

To the naked eye, lice or nits can be difficult to spot. Lice tend to be brown specs that are no more than 3mm long that hang on the hair.

A good tip would be to, occasionally, take a fine-tooth comb and see what you’d find. It doesn’t need to be a regular thing you do when you’re bathing your child or helping them with their hair. By doing this semi-regularly, you can keep on top of any unwanted visitors.

At Chemist Direct, we offer our customers a wide range of head lice treatments and remedies. Working with leading brands such as Full Marks, we have a huge selection of different types of products and approaches to eliminating head lice. Check them out today.