I haven’t written about the customer service calls we get here at Tec Labs, but the one we received the other day is becoming a common occurrence as more parents are dealing with difficult cases of head lice.
A very frustrated father called in with a 12 year old son who had been fighting head lice for two months. His son was infested when his younger cousin visited while she had head lice. While she had very long hair and was able to get rid of the lice quickly, they could not get them out of their son’s very short hair. After further questioning, I found out the father was trying multiple solutions all at once, and wasn’t completely certain what he was finding in his son’s hair was even head lice. His son was miserable because he scalp was getting very irritated, and Dad was upset that he couldn’t find a solution to their problem.
This brings to mind a few things that parents should know when dealing with head lice:
First, you will want to make sure you are actually dealing with head lice. Check small sections of the hair starting at the nape of the neck. Look for sesame seed size insects that will either be clear or brown in color. Lice turn brown when they feed on your blood. You will also want to check for nits (lice eggs). Nits are very small, attached to the hair shaft, and are difficult to remove. If you find something in your hair that combs out or falls out easily, then it is not a nit. See images of head lice for reference.
If you determine you are dealing with head lice, choose an appropriate head lice treatment. Visit your local pharmacy and select an over the counter head lice treatment. Lice treatments are typically found in the first aid section of the store. Of course we recommend choosing a non-toxic solution like Licefreee. Only use one method of treatment at a time, and be sure to follow all directions. Follow your treatment by thoroughly combing nits out of the hair using a nit comb. Metal nit combs work better than the plastic ones that come with many OTC head lice treatments.
Perform daily head checks. If you are treating a head lice infestation, hang on to that nit comb and continue to do head checks daily. You may not have found every nit with your first comb through. You can remove any new nits that you find without doing a complete treatment. However, it is recommended to do a second complete treatment within 7-10 days in case any missed nit has hatched.
In addition to treating hair for head lice, clean infested areas of your home. Washing sheets, vacuuming and running items through the dryer can clean up head lice that may have travelled off the scalp. See tips for cleaning up after a head lice infestation.
If you get rid of head lice for several weeks and then find them again it may be a new infestation. It can be really frustrating to find out you have to deal with head lice again after you have recently dealt with it. Check with your child’s school to see if they have children sharing coat hooks or lockers. Are hats, helmets, combs, brushes, or hair accessories being shared? Teach your children not to share personal items and/or work with your child’s school to separate items that may be infested.