We have unwelcome visitors in school again!
(NHS Information) While there's nothing you can do to prevent head lice, you can reduce the risk of lice spreading by wearing long hair tied up and avoiding head-to-head contact. Don't use medicated lotions and sprays to prevent head lice as this can irritate the scalp.
Head lice are small insects, up to 3mm long, and can be difficult to spot. Head lice eggs (nits) are yellow, brown or white (empty shells) and attached to the hair. Head lice sometimes can make your head feel:
•like something is moving in your hair
The only way to be sure someone has head lice is by finding live lice or eggs.
How to get rid of head lice
You can treat head lice without seeing a GP.
Treat head lice as soon as you spot them. You should check everyone in the house and treat them on the same day if they have head lice.
Lice and nits can be removed by wet combing. This method should be tried first. A Nitty Gritty is an excellent comb for this purpose https://www.nittygritty.co.uk/site/headliceandnits.asp
You can buy a special fine-toothed comb (detection comb) online or from pharmacies to remove head lice and nits.
There will be instructions on the pack to follow, but typically you:
•use the comb on wet or dry hair – although it usually works best on wet hair with conditioner
•comb the whole head of hair, from the roots to the ends
•repeat every few days for 2 weeks
It usually takes about 10 minutes to comb short hair, and 20 to 30 minutes for long, frizzy or curly hair.
Medicated lotions and sprays
Ask your pharmacist for advice if you have tried wet combing for 2 weeks, but your child still has head lice or nits.
They may recommend using medicated lotions and sprays. These kill head lice in all types of hair, and you can buy them from pharmacies, supermarkets or online.
Head lice should die within a day. Lotions and sprays come with a comb to remove dead lice and eggs.
Some treatments need to be repeated after a week to kill any newly hatched lice.
Check the pack to see if they're OK for you or your child and how to use them.
If lotions or sprays don't work, speak to your pharmacist about other treatments.
Some treatments aren't recommended because they're unlikely to work.
•products containing permethrin
•head lice "repellents"
•electric combs for head lice
•tree and plant oil treatments, such as tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil and lavender oil herbal remedies
Whilst there's no need to keep your child off school if they have head lice, we would be grateful if you could ensure the treatment of your child if you see head lice before sending them back in to school as this will help to stop the spread of the parasite.