Parents and children alike shed tears over getting rid of head lice. More than 12 million children in the United States get head lice every year. There are a variety of over-the-counter head lice treatments that have been on the market for many years. While these head lice treatments worked well in the past, it may not provide the same results today. One of the biggest problems today is that head lice has become resistant to common lice treatments. Don’t fear, there are a variety of steps you can take to get rid of lice.
- Stay Calm – At the first sign of lice, or phone call from your child’s school informing you that your child has lice can send any parent into panic. Remain calm and don’t get nervous. Lice are not harmful to your child’s health. You need to stay calm and act quickly. Your focus is to kill lice and their eggs, which are also known as nits.
- Wash Your Child’s Hair – Choose a lice treatment that provides shampoo and conditioner. A popular choice is ClearLice natural lice treatment. It is void of pesticides, poisons and harsh chemicals plus it is also known for its fresh peppermint scent and for working when other head lice treatments have failed. Wash and condition your children hair thoroughly using the products.
- Dry Hair – Use a hair dryer to dry your child’s hair. Using a hair dryer has proven to kill up to 98% of nits and 55% of lice. Avoid using a hair dryer if you use a chemical lice treatment. The chemicals can be flammable.
- Combing and Nitpicking – Purchase a special comb used to get rid of lice and nits. You can find it at your local drug store and in many cases it comes along in lice treatment kits. The comb is an essential part to removing lice and nits. You will want to separate your child’s hair into sections and carefully comb thru each section removing every single lice and nit.
- Repeat – Repeat the process until you no longer see lice or nits in your child’s hair. Repeat again 10 days after to prevent lice re-infestations. Remember to clean your child’s bedding and vacuum carpets located in your home thoroughly.
Three Methods to Get Rid of Lice
1 – Suffocate Lice – This sounds brutal but when you are desperate you will try anything. Many parents have found that applying olive oil to your child’s hair and scalp and letting it sit under a shower cap all night, suffocates lice and kills them. This is helpful because it stops them from producing more eggs or nits. You still have to follow the steps above, but it lessens the risk of a lice re-infestation or making the condition worse.
2 – White Vinegar – Some parents use white vinegar diluted with water or straight to fight the lice. Some have found it beneficial in dissolving the sticky substance adult female lice use to attach their eggs to hair shafts. When using the vinegar the hair also becomes prepped for nit combing due to the acetic acid in vinegar.
3 – Hire a Nit-Picking Service – This may sound extreme, but some parents become exhausted combing their child’s hair or simply lack the time in their schedule for the long process. There is an entire industry developing that is purposely for providing non-toxic, effective natural lice treatment options for removing head lice. Check your local community to find the one closest to you.
Get Rid of Lice From Your Home
Most parents will feel the need to clean the entire house from top to bottom but it is not necessary. Lice are only capable of living away from the scalp for up to two days. They are not able to fly or hop onto other objects. The eggs or nits, are cemented to the hair so it is almost impossible that they get loose and infect your home. Basic cleaning of pillow cases, bedding and clothing that has been in direct contact with the infected child or adult is necessary. You will also want to soak brushes and combs in hot soapy water to clean them and remove lice and nits.
Lice prevention is possible but there is no guarantee to avoid head lice 100%. Some parents believe if they wash their child’s hair every day that it will help prevent lice. Unfortunately, lice are happy to invade a clean scalp as well as a slightly dirty one. The best lice prevention is teaching your child to avoid head-to-head contact with others.
Today social media and the selfie craze has caused many people to press their heads together and snap a cute photo. While this is fun, it also exposes both parties to head-to-head contact. Teach your child to avoid pressing their head against others and to avoid sharing hair brushes and combs with their friends. It is also helpful to conduct a lice search on your child’s head on a regular basis to catch the lice in the beginning stages before the head lice infestation gets worse.