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Head Lice Prevention

Head lice is common among school children. Even though your child has this infestation previously, be alert so that there is no new infestation. Here are certain steps for its prevention.
Pragya T
Head lice infestation, also known as pediculosis, can affect people of all ages. However, it affects school children the most. It is possible to get rid of head lice with effective remedies.
Using tea tree oil based shampoos and manual removal of lice and nits work the best. But, after the head lice are gone, one should still follow certain preventive measures to keep the infestation away.

Steps to Prevent Head Lice

Understand the Lice

The first step in preventing head lice is to understand the condition and life cycle of lice and where do these lice come from. Lice can come from anywhere and affect anybody. It has nothing to do with hygiene. Head lice get transmitted mostly when people share their personal items, or share common items.
A lice doesn't have wings and cannot fly and so the only way it can spread is by person to person contact. One can get them from a person sitting next to them on the couch, car seat or a movie theater. Remember that adult lice can only live for 8 hours and nits can live for 10 days.
So, if a head lice is on a carpet for a day it will be dead and gone. And, if nits don't stay on the hair or scalp for 10 days they too will die. Nits also require a certain temperature to hatch, and so without being near the scalp they too will die soon.

Avoid Sharing

As mentioned earlier, head lice can spread by sharing common or personal items. So, refrain from sharing any items like hair brushes, combs, towels, t-shirts, tops, hats, scarves, coats, hair ribbons, barrettes, helmets or sports uniforms.

Stay Away from Close Contact

Head lice can spread by head-to-head or hair-to-hair contact from anybody who you think has head lice or nits.
Avoid contact with people who have head lice infestation during sports, play, school, camps or slumber parties. Also, avoid lying down on couches, pillows, carpets, beds or stuffed toys which have been in contact with an infested person. If this is unavoidable, then use a medicated shampoo once a week.

Clean and Disinfect

If previously, somebody in your family had head lice infestation, then it is important that you disinfect all the personal belongings and vacuum clean common items in the house. So, wash clothes in the machine which have been used by the infested person.
Also, wash bed sheets, clothes, towels, etc. Use hot water laundry cycle and high heat drying cycle. Items which can't be washed can be sealed up in a plastic bag for 12 days. The nits and lice will die without a host after 12 days. Vacuum the floor, couch, chair, bed, carpet, etc.

Keep a Check

Once the infestation is gone, another head lice preventive measure you can take is to check the hair and scalp of your children and other family members manually every weekend.
So, make partitions and carefully check the scalp and hair for any signs of nits and lice. If you find any infestation, then remove the lice and nits manually and use medicated shampoos.
So, once the infestation is gone, keep in mind the above measures to prevent head lice. It is not possible to completely get rid of head lice in school children as coming in contact with other children or sharing of items will happen.
So, shampoo the scalp once a week by mixing ten drops of tea tree oil shampoo. Let the shampoo sit for 5 minutes and then wash off the hair and scalp. Parents must ensure once in a while that their children are lice free because, as always, prevention is better than cure.