If your child has head lice, it can be a bit overwhelming. For many people, their first reaction is to take their child straight to the doctor. Luckily, most cases of head lice don't require a trip to the doctor's office and can be treated at home. If you're unsure about what to do if your child has head lice, I've got a few tips that may help.
1. Stay Calm
If your child has head lice, it's important not to panic. If you panic, your child may become upset, as well. I have a friend who panicked when her daughter caught head lice at school. She said that she cried and then her daughter ended up crying, too. Remind yourself that many children and adults get head lice each year and that it is very common among children age 3 to 12. You should also remind yourself that head lice is very treatable.
2. Treat Your Child's Hair
There are many lice treatment kits that you can purchase at your local drug store. It's important to get a high quality lice treatment medication that is designed to get rid of the nits, too. Nits are lice eggs that haven't hatched yet. Rid and Nix are both good brands of lice treatment medication that are very effective. When my daughter had lice, I also purchased a comb that's designed to help remove nits from the hair, too. This comb was $5 and really came in handy for us because her hair is thick and was very long at the time.
3. Treat Your Hair
If your child has head lice, it's always a good idea to treat your hair, too. Even if you don't think that you have head lice, treat your hair just in case you have it. You may also want to have your family wash their hair in the lice medication, too. Lice and nits are both very small and can easily be overlooked. By treating yourself and other family members, you may also prevent yourselves from catching head lice.
4. Treat Your Home
Treating your home can be a bit time-consuming, but it's necessary to make sure that your home is free of head lice. Instead of cleaning each of your child's toys, you can put them up in garbage bags, tie the bags up and leave them tied up for 2 weeks. It's also important to vacuum the carpets in your home. Hair bows can be treated by placing them in a pillowcase and putting the pillowcase in the dryer for 10 to 15 minutes. Hairbrushes and combs can be cleaned by soaking them in a container of water and lice medication. You should also wash all the bed linens and pillows in your home. Yoy may even want to buy head lice home treatment spray to use on couches, curtains, and on any other service that you want to treat.
5. Reassure Your Child
Just like having head lice can be a bit overwhelming for you, it can also be a bit overwhelming and scary for your child. Depending on their age, you may want to explain what head lice is, that many people get it, and that it's very treatable. When my daughter caught head lice, she was 6 so I tried hard to not make a big deal of it. I told her that there were some bugs in her hair and that we just needed to clean them out. After that I treated her hair and I didn't say anything else about it to her.
6. Contact Your Child's School
If your child gets head lice, it's important to contact their school. If they are in school that is likely where they came in contact with the lice. The school needs to be notified so that they can arrange do do head checks for the other students. This will help get to the source of the problem. It will also help prevent your child from getting lice again.
If your child gets head lice, it's always a good idea to retreat their hair. Most lice treatment kits specify to retreat your hair in 7 to 10 days. Some people prefer not to do this, but I feel that it's a good idea. Retreating your child's hair will give you peace of mind knowing that the head lice are gone.
Has your child ever had head lice? If so, I would really like to hear about your experience. Did you find that getting rid of the head lice was quick and easy or was it hard work to get rid them?