Y1oto 3uyearrs toddler
clean as possible.
Avoid head-to-head play as much as possible and keep long hair tied up in a ponytail or pretty braid.
Use a good lice repellent spray. Some parents swear by a few drops of tea tree oil mixed into shampoo. And there are also a number of products available from your local pharmacy that can help. As always, check with your family doctor for the best solution for your child.
THINGS THAT WON’T FIX YOUR LICE PROBLEM
Don’t pay heed to dubious and potentially harmful practices recommended by friends and family (or the dreaded Dr Google), some of which claim to be treatments. There are many myths that abound, some of which have proven to be fatal to the children these “treatments” have been used on. Rather get advice from your doctor or pharmacy if you are unsure if what you’ve been told is a treatment option or myth. Here’s what you should NEVER do:
Covering your child’s head with mayonnaise or olive oil will not kill lice. Washing your child’s hair with olive oil can help with conditioning, but it won’t get rid of lice.
Washing your child’s hair with petrol or disinfectant fluid will not solve a lice problem. This is highly dangerous and can have fatal or very harmful effects – don’t do it, ever!
Spraying your child’s head with an insect repellent aerosol spray is never a solution to a lice problem. This is also highly dangerous, because inhaling sprays like this can be very harmful.
HOW YOU CAN’T GET LICE
There are also many myths around how lice are spread. Remember that:
A lice infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene. Whether or not your child has head lice does not depend on how often you wash their hair.
Head lice cannot be transferred from pets to children, or from children to pets. They are specific to humans.
Checking for lice on a regular basis is important, especially if your child’s school has let you know that there’s been an outbreak.
HOW TO TREAT HEAD LICE
If your child does have a lice infestation, acting quickly is important. Call your doctor or visit your nearest pharmacy for advice and pick up a treatment product that’ll work well for your child. You’ll also need a nit comb, and a whole bunch of patience. Once you’ve followed the instructions for the product you’re using, you’ll need to use the nit comb to pull out every single louse and ensure your child’s head is clear of nits (the eggs) too. Make sure you do this under good lighting, as each louse or nit can be incredibly difficult to spot. Most manufacturers recommend you repeat the treatment after seven days, to cover the entire lice life cycle and ensure the all-clear. YB