Pharmacist Eamonn Brady of Whelehans Pharmacies urges parents to screen children routinely for head lice every week when they return to school. Eamonn advises early detection reduces the spread of the infection within schools and helps reduce the scale of the outbreaks, which can be distressing for children, parents and teachers. Eamonn explains while prevention products like tea tree may reduce risk of headlice, there is no way of 100% guaranteeing a child will not get head lice; the earlier their presence on the head is detected, the easier it is to get rid of the lice.
Orla Cahill from Whelehans explains “parents should check their children’s heads for head lice and nits every week. While lice aren't dangerous, they are extremely contagious and their bites may cause a child's scalp to become itchy and inflamed. Persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation and, potentially, even infection so it is important to treat head lice quickly.”
Infestations are most common in children aged four to eleven and most children will get them at least once. A child who is infected will usually complain about constant scratching, which can lead to disturbed sleep and associated problems such as irritability and poor concentration.
Top tips to prevent and treat head lice infestation:
- Check children’s hair regularly by wet combing the hair every week to search for nits/lice. Lice combs are inexpensive and available in Whelehans.
- Always tie up long hair in a ponytail to avoid hair coming in contact with other hair that might be infected.
- When necessary, treat the hair as soon as possible, but only if live lice or unhatched eggs are present. Ask your pharmacist about the most appropriate treatment option for your child. Never treat a child as a preventative measure – it isn’t effective.
- Inform the school, their friends and other contacts immediately if your child is infected as everyone will need to be checked.
- Keep calm and make the experience as least distressing as possible for the child.
Trish Wallace of Whelehans explains “Children of all ages are vulnerable to pesticides, especially children who suffer from asthma and allergies or who have a pre-existing skin condition so, when treating head lice, it is important for parents to seek professional advice from a pharmacist.”
While there is no way of 100% preventing risk of headlice, Whelehans range of products may help reduce risk. Our headlice prevention range includes the LeeLoop® lice preventing hairband which contains no pesticides but is infused with natural ingredients emitting a scent to help prevent headlice in kids with longer hair. It is now only €7.95 per pack of four giving two-month protection.
Other headlice repellent products include the ever popular Lyclear® Head Lice Repellent Spray and the Whelehans range of tea tree products starting from €3.
Talk to your pharmacist
Your local pharmacist can talk through the treatment options and advise on the most suitable treatment for your child. And the good news is that no appointment is required, call in to Whelehans Pharmacy today at Pearse St or Clonmore Mullingar for advice from our highly trained team.
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).