Headlice are small insects that feed on blood obtained by biting the scalp. These bites tend to be itchy and this itchiness is caused by an allergy to the lice. Head lice are transferred by close hair-to-hair contact. They cannot jump, fly or swim, but walk from one hair to another. It is a misconception that head lice infestation is as a result of dirty hair and poor hygiene. Head lice can be found in all hair types, long or short, and in hair of any condition.
There is no way of guaranteeing your child won’t get head lice but checking yours and your family's hair and scalp regularly is important. If your child has long hair, tie it back as this helps to reduce the likelihood of contact between their hair and that of an infected child.
There are many products to treat head lice; some of which include;
- Hedrin® Once Spray Gel and Shampoo
- Full Marks® Solution
- Lyclear® Products
If you do not wish to use chemicals, wet combing is another method of removing head lice. Nit combs used for wet combing. The steps to follow for wet combing are to wash the hair as normal using an ordinary shampoo, apply conditioner liberally to wet hair (this causes lice to lose their grip on hair), comb the hair through with a normal comb first. Then with a fine-tooth nit comb, comb from the roots along the complete length of the hair and after each stroke check the comb for lice and wipe it clean. Work methodically over the whole head for at least 30 minutes. Rinse the hair as normal. Repeat every three days for at least two weeks.
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore). Find us on Facebook.