• Head Lice Treatment

     
    Why do I have to treat my child's hair two times?
    After the first treatment, you may not see live lice but you might see nits. If the nits are stuck to strands of hair 1/4 inch (6 mm) or higher from your child's scalp they are more than likely dead. However, if you see either live lice in the hair or nits attached to strands of hair 1/4 inch or less from the scalp, then a second treatment is necessary. The closer the nit is to the scalp, the more recent the egg has been laid. This means live lice could be living somewhere on your child's head.

    If you do not kill the nits, they will hatch and your child will have lice again - this time without any contact with another infested child! All products specifically created to treat head lice will recommend a second treatment in order to kill the nits.

    How do I know if I really got rid of all the lice after treating my child's hair?
    • Carefully follow the directions on the lice treatment package. If you think it is not working, try again.
    • Not following directions is the biggest reason given for why treatment does not work.
    • Take out the nits left after treatment and lice are gone. This is called "nit picking." This must happen after first and second treatments. Nit picking means removing any left over nits from every strand of hair on your child's head. Do this by sliding a nit up the hair shaft with your fingers or a nit comb. Special nit picking combs are available in the store where you bought the lice treatment.
    • Help your children, family, extended family members and friends know how lice is spread and treated.
    • Check your child's hair from time to time for signs of lice. Catching it early can cut down the number of treatments, saving time and money.
    How can I kill the lice in my child's bedding, clothing and around the house?
    • Launder clothing and bedding in water at least 130 degrees.
      • CAUTION: Do not bathe or shampoo in water this hot! This temperature is for laundry only!
      • Washing clothes and bedding has to be done two days before you do the lice treatment on your child's hair!
    • Dry cleaning kills lice and the nits in clothing that can be dry-cleaned.
    • Sealing clothing, stuffed toys, pillows, blankets or other small soft items for two weeks in tightly closed plastic bags will kill both lice and nits.
    • Safe, effective, FDA approved chemical sprays made to kill head lice are available over the counter. These are OK to use at home, school, in the car, or on things that can't be washed, dry-cleaned, or sealed in a plastic bag like furniture, carpets, car seats or any other large, immobile or non-washable item.
    • Vacuum carpets, furniture and curtains.
    How are combs and brushes treated?
    Soak combs, brushes and other washable items for 1 hour in one of the approved lice shampoos or soak them for 5 to 10 minutes in a pan of 130 degree water.
     
     What should NOT be used to control lice? 
    • Do not use hair dryers! The temperature would have to be turned up so high it could cause serious burns on the scalp.
    • Do not use poisons or flammable liquids like gasoline, kerosene and paint thinner or insect repellant. Chemicals should never be used for the treatment of head lice unless they are approved by the FDA.
    • Do not spend extra money on hair oils, gels, hair spray or other non-medicated hair products including dandruff shampoo. They do not kill lice or prevents eggs from sticking to the hair or hatching.
    • Do not use old-fashion remedies! Vinegar rinses do not kill lice. Nits will still hatch lice and your child will be infested again.
    • Put those scissors away! Do not cur your child's hair to get rid of lice. Lice stick to short hair too! Waiting 7 to 10 days between the first and second treatments will give you the best change for success; and spending more time working in the medication throughout your child's hair during treatments will also help.