How to Treat and Prevent Head Lice in Children this Summer

Having head lice may seem to be a simple problem, yet it is an excruciatingly irritating and embarrassing experience. When I was young, I remember being reprimanded by my mother for vigorously scratching my hair in the most inappropriate places like churches and restaurants. I couldn’t help it. My head felt so ITCHY! Bea also had a bout with head lice when she was almost two years old. She was so irritable especially at night. I felt so sorry for her, but it didn’t end there. Since we slept in the same bed, the little creatures felt it was perfectly fine to venture to the nearby head, MINE! Argh!

Head lice are something that is often associated with summer. For children, the joy of summer vacation will not be complete without spending hours playing under the sun. And the humidity, sweat, prolonged exposure to the sun and other sweaty, not-sure-if-they-take-a-bath playmates increases your child’s risk of getting head lice.


Treatment

  • Eliminate the lice. There are many over the counter products like shampoos and creams for this purpose. Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully. These products often contain harsh chemicals which may be harmful to skin and eyes. If there are still some head lice left, a second treatment may be needed after two weeks.
  • Comb out the nits. After the treatment, comb hair with a fine-toothed comb. In the Philippines, we have what is called the suyod. The suyod will help comb out the dead lice. This process is often considered as a summer time ritual between mothers/grandmothers/nannies and little boys/girls Do this every so often, to make sure that you’ve totally eliminated the head lice. If you don’t have a suyod, any fine-toothed comb will do.
  • Take the lice out one by one. You can reserve afternoons for head lice hunting sessions, that is if you can keep your child still for more than a few minutes. This can be a challenge.

Prevention

  • Head lice can be transferred from one child to another, so make sure they don’t borrow things they use for their heads like combs, brushes and hats.
  • Fight the heat. Don’t stay out in the sun for too long. Seek some shade when outdoors.
  • Take a bath and wash hair everyday. Encourage your child’s proper hygiene, plus this will also make the child feel refreshed.

Prevent Head Lice from Spreading

If your household has already been invaded by the attack of the head lice here are some things you can do to prevent it from spreading to other members of the family:

· Wash the clothes, towels and bed linen used by the child in hot water.

· Soak combs and hair brushes in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

· Vacuum furniture, carpet, curtains and other fabric that the child came in contact with 48 hours before the treatment.

· Check other members of the household for head lice. Make sure they are treated too to prevent recurrence in your household.

Thankfully, Bea and I got over our head lice incident. Summer is meant for fun and enjoyment. I am sharing our experience with you dear readers not to embarrass myself but to help you prevent this from happening to your child. Make sure your children make the most of this season. Make sure they are happy and healthy and most of all head lice-free!

11 comments:

coffeeshopbloggers said...

Actually, lice prefer clean hair, so unwashed playmates are not an issue.

Lice shampoos are also about 50% effective and if one egg survives, your lice problem will not go away.

I prefer the olive oil treatment combined with nit removal. For the 3 weeks of post lice checks, I like the Robi Comb, an electonic lice zapper.

I blog on lice and how we got rid of lice (twice!) at http://pragmaticmom.com

Pragmatic Mom

Growing Up With Bea said...

Thanks for sharing pragmatic mom, i see you are a 2-time lice survivor. =)

Happy weekend!

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Karen. This is a great post. I happen to be doing an article about head lice for Philippine Online Chronicles (http://thepoc.net/).

Can I possibly mention your personal experience on my feature article with a link back to your blog post?

Karen said...

Hello Rach! I'd be honored to be mentioned in your article!

Thanks! =)

Heart of Rachel said...

Thank you very much Karen.

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Karen. What method did you use to remove the head lice completely? You mentioned several possible methods but I'm not sure what you used. Thanks!

Karen said...

Hi Rach, actually i opted for the traditional way, my very patient nanny took the lice and nits out manually. It took some time before she got rid of it all, but I felt the shampoos and cremes might be harmful for Bea since she was only almost 2.

I used the suyod for my own hair, thankfully, only a few of the lice transferred to my hair. =) We were head lice-free in no time!

Heart of Rachel said...

Thank you Karen for sharing that. Take care.

Heart of Rachel said...

Hi Karen. My health feature about lice woes is now published.

Thanks for all your help.

Lice Man said...

hello there!

Great blog you have here. Some pictures of head lice come in handy!

head lice shampoo said...

The hair is more exposed to sunlight during summer so you have to take precautions.

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