Detecting, Treating, and Preventing Lice
Although hard to stomach, head lice can be a very common problem, especially for those with kids between 3 to 12 years old. Lice are often communicated to our children through their classmates, with the lice traveling from head to head all the way into our homes, where it may move to other siblings as well. Though they can be gross, annoying and contagious, the good news is that lice are not dangerous and do not harbor diseases. But once lice have been spotted in your home, it's best to respond to the problem quickly and effectively, in order to prevent it from spreading to other family members or friends.
What are the signs you should look for and what products can you use to eliminate the problem quickly? Here is a guide to help you.
How can you tell if your child has lice?
Itching is the most common symptom, but also the most annoying one, and can occasionally be so intense that scabs will form on the areas of the head being itched. If you notice either intense itching or scabs on your child's head, that's the first sign that you should take a more in-depth look.
The difficulty of spotting lice depends on the child's individual hair color. On dark hair, lice will stand out due to their grayish-white color. Finding lice on lighter hair requires a more scrutinizing search, and possibly a visual aid such as a magnifying glass. Regardless of the hair type, lice might look no different from dandruff in both their size and color. A good way to test if it's lice is by picking at it - if it comes out easily, it's mostly likely dandruff. However, if those pesky "flecks" don't budge, it's most likely lice. The nits (lice eggs) are firmly attached to the hair, so those buggers aren't moving.
It's also important to note that shampoo should not be applied daily. Rather, try to keep its usage to three times a week, though one may use it more or less as needed.
For children under two, you should NOT use medicated treatments. It is best in these cases to remove lice and nits by hand, using a fine-tooth comb like the Fairy Tales Terminator Stainless Steel Comb on wet hair that has been conditioned every three to four days for two weeks (wetting the hair temporarily immobilizes the lice).
For older children, you can use a Lice and Nit Removal system, such as Fairy Tales Lice Good-Bye Nit Removal System with Comb. The Fairy Tales Lice Good-Bye Mousse is non-toxic and free of harsh chemicals and pesticides that may harm your child's head. The mousse, combined with the included comb, makes it easy to sort out the lice and nits and restore your child's hair to its former beauty.
After you've eliminated the infestation, it is important to wash your sheets, clothing, stuffed animals, and any other garment or object that lice could survive in. These should be washed in very hot water and dried on a high heat setting. Any brushes or combs should be soaked in hot water and inspected before use to make sure they are lice-free. But don't go overboard -- lice can only survive for 12-48 hours after they are removed from the scalp so no need to throw everything away - just have that hot water handy!
If you're looking to prevent hair lice entirely, Fairy Tales also offers a powerful treatment system called Fairy Tales Rosemary Repel Shampoo, which was designed to repel lice and other insects from hair. The complete Repel package provides the most thorough protection, and comes with shampoo, conditioner and even a styling gel, ensuring that your child's stylish sensibilities don't suffer along with the lice.
Though lice may be an extreme nuisance to the unprepared, with the proper products and education, you'll be scratching your head wondering why you were ever worried in the first place!