How To Get Rid of Head Lice and Nits

Mother checking daughter's hair for lice

If your child has been infested with lice and nits, it is more likely that your whole house hold is bound to get one as well. Head lice and nits bite your scalp and suck blood in your head. Lice are relatively easy to spot than the nits. Lice are a few millimeters in length and are light brownish in color. They can survive in your hair in 30 days. They cannot live away from a hair in more than 24 hours. However before they perish, they lay eggs to as much a 100. This is the reason why lice can stay in your head for a long period of time if left untreated. Louse eggs are called nits. Nits are grayish in color. They are firmly attached to the strands of your hair to keep them warm before they hatch. Their shells are left behind after louse eggs hatch in your hair.

Head lice and nits are transferred through head to head contact. It is a misconception that you will get them through pillows and towels. They will not survive in them. Lice stay alive through the warmth of your head. They die if exposed in a relatively cold environment. Your children are the easiest prey of lice and nits. Children, particularly girls tend to stand close to each other. Whispering through each other ears can be the greatest opportunity for lice to walk from one hair to another. Lice cannot jump nor fly.
If your child shows manifestations of infestation, it is important to treat the scalp the soonest time possible. A child would scratch his/her due to itching caused by the lice biting in the scalp. He/she would almost always scratch his/her head while sleeping.
How do you get rid of them?

  1. First, use the conventional way of removing head lice and nits. Nit combs are available in your local pharmacy. Nit combs have very fine teeth, which make it easy to catch small lice and nits in your child’s head. If your child has thick or curly hair, you should shampoo and apply conditioner first. It is advisable to comb the hair while it is wet. This will make the hair slippery thus, allowing lice and nits to easily attach to the tooth of the nit comb. You can also go through the child’s hair by parting the hair meticulously to remove sticky nits that can further your child’s infestation. Do these regularly to ensure that eggs will not hatch in your child’s head.
  2. If this process does not eradicate your problem, you can consult a pharmacist on the best way to get rid of lice and nits. They have most likely learned about the best way of removing them through sales as well as conversations with other clients. Shampoos and topical solutions are readily available in your local drugstore. However, these methods do not guarantee extinction of lice and nits. Most over the counter chemical treatments contain pesticides, which could aggravate your child’s condition if applied incorrectly. It is important to read instructions carefully and ask your pediatrician if it is safe to use them to your child. Frequent use could burn the scalp and potentially damage your child’s health.
  3. Herbal oils such as castor, tea tree, lavender eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary are said to help rinse the lice away. Many mothers recommend daily application of these oils, which coupled with the nit combing method, will get rid of your child’s infestation.

It is most likely that your child will get lice and nits. In the UK, 1 out of 10 kids are said to be infected with these human parasites. It is not true that head lice and nits only affect dirty hair. They can walk over your head despite proper grooming. Thorough orientation and education among your children would be the best preventive method to do away with head lice and nits.


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