Velocity Care shares insight for treating head lice in school-aged children
For school-aged children, who often share brushes, hats and other items, the risk and fear of lice is a common concern for parents who look to their doctors for advice on how to treat an infestation. As an urgent care clinic, we provide ways that you and your family can be on alert to prevent such an infestation.
What to look for
One of the first signs of head lice is an itchy scalp. You may notice your child starting to scratch his or her head frequently. To check for head lice and eggs, also known as nits, you will need a bright light and a fine-toothed comb to part the hair so the roots are exposed.
Head lice are most commonly found along the hairline on the back of the neck and around the ears. They tend to match the color of the hair they infested, which makes them difficult to see. The eggs are oval and stick to a single hair strand.
Once you have determined that your child has head lice, follow these seven steps to ensure successful treatment. If your physician does not prescribe medicine, you can buy treatment over the counter at most grocery stores and drug stores.
- Follow all of the instructions provided with the head lice treatment medication you selected.
- After treatment, change clothes to prevent lice from spreading.
- Wash all clothes, linens, towels, blankets and any other cloth items the infected person came in contact with.
- Use the laundry and dryer cycles that have the highest heat setting. Head lice will not survive more than 5 minutes in temperatures above 128 degrees.
- Any items that are not washable that may be infected should be placed in sealed plastic bags for 2 weeks to ensure there are no survivors that could re-infect your home.
- Vacuum carpets in your home and soak combs in hot water for at least 5 minutes to remove any lice and nits that have fallen.
- Do not spend money on cleaning products or sprays. Head lice cannot survive for more than 1-2 days without feeding. Nits, or eggs, will not hatch or survive if not at scalp temperature.
The Center for Disease Control reminds us that although a case of head lice may be a nuisance, it does not actually spread disease. Personal hygiene and cleanliness inside of your home has nothing to do with getting head lice.
If your child attends school and comes home with head lice, you should call the school office or nurse so they can take necessary precautions. The National Association of School Nurses believes that a head lice infestation should not disrupt education. It can be treated efficiently the first time with the tips we shared.
Visit a Velocity Care Urgent Clinic to have your children checked for head lice or get help treating an infestation. Our walk-in clinics also provide a range of other services for all of your family’s health care needs.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.