It isn’t unusual for children to acquire nits but we have had quite an outbreak recently. We know that nits are uncomfortable for children and a hassle for parents for having to treat them. But with regular checking, nits can be kept at bay. But, if you are suffering please work hard to ensure that all lice and eggs have been eradicated. We recommend that you comb weekly to ensure that you are egg and lice free.
Head lice are live insects. Their empty eggs are called nits. Lice are wingless insects that hold on to the hair, feeding from the blood in the scalp. They spread through head-to-head contact but contrary to common belief, they do not jump. Adult females live for up to a month and lay around five eggs a day.
Lice spread when heads come in contact so sleepovers, after-school activities, playing with friends and visiting family are also common places for children, and adults, to pick them up and pass them on.
7 Key Head Lice Facts:

  • Head lice are common among young children and their families
  • Head lice don’t spread disease
  • Head lice can be spread from adults to children and back again
  • There’s nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about having head lice
  • Having head lice has nothing to do with good or bad personal hygiene
  • Lice eggs hatch after around 7 days so two applications are always needed to make sure all lice have been killed
  • There are pesticide, non-pesticide, combing and alternative treatments on the market. Your pharmacist will be able to help you work out which is best for you and your family

So how do you find Head Lice?
If you’re feeling unsure don’t worry, you’re not alone – 1 in 4 parents aren’t sure how to check for head lice properly.
To diagnose a case of head lice you need to find them alive. This is when you need to use a treatment. They move fast and are small – from the size of a full stop to a sesame – so they can be hard to find!
How To Peek
Good lighting is important and so is comfort! Comb for lice, parting hair in small sections, and return from time to time to areas you’ve already covered just to make sure. Combing through thick, curly or Afro-Caribbean hair will be more difficult so a good idea is to dampen the hair and comb through with a normal comb first to remove any tangles. You can also oil the hair using a light oil, such as grapeseed, which will help let the fine-tooth nit comb pass through easier during your search.
And remember, if you find head lice on one member of your family you need to check everybody to make sure they don’t have them as well.
First, don’t worry. Head lice are a normal part of life and are nothing to be embarrassed, panicked or ashamed about. There are FOUR types of head lice treatment:

  • Pesticide lotions and liquids
  • Non-pesticide lotions
  • Wet combing with conditioner (Bug Busting)
  • Alternative treatments (herbal remedies etc)

Conventional pesticide-based treatments are available in pharmacies. You need to apply these treatments at least twice, a week apart, to kill the lice. However scientists do claim that many lice have developed immunity to some pesticide-based products.
Non-pesticide lotions work in a different way. They coat the outside of the lice so they suffocate and die. This means there’s no chance for the lice to build up a resistance to the treatment.
Combs remove lice and nits but do take time and patience to ensure a thorough job is done. It’s quite easy to miss a few and needs to be done twice a week for at least two weeks.
There are a number of herbal and other treatments available – although their effectiveness varies.
Go to your local pharmacy for information and advice on which treatment is right for you.

 

21st January 2019
Category: Whole School