Schools And Lice – Back To Schools Now

| August 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

Kids Back To School And Lice:

It’s time to prepare your kids for going back to school, where it is the of relief for moms for half the day it is also time to worry about their head lice. Schools and day cares for younger children are the main source of spreading lice.

back to school and head lice

Head lice transfer from one kid to another by close head contact, through clothes, hair brush, towels and pillows. Young kids spread lice easily because they play in very close proximity to each other. Lice make their nests in the hair near the scalp mostly close to neck and live on human blood.  The sesame-seed sized insects are tiny and wingless, and lay eggs (nits) that “glue” themselves to hair shafts close to the scalp.

Head lice spread fast the nits hatch in 8 days and grow into adult lice in 10 days. The young lice and adults live their complete lives on the head and feed on blood. Their life cycle is about 3 weeks long.

Kids going back to school after summer vacations should be cared properly for lice as they not only unease your kids but also cause embarrassment for parents. Before treating head lice you should know some facts about lice.

Facts you should know about head lice:

  • Acquiring head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene, so that should not be a stigma to the child or embarrassment to parents. Well-to-do kids are as equally exposed to head lice as disadvantaged
  • Head lice can move around/crawl very quickly. However, it is untrue that they either jump of fly.
  • Head lice are not transmitted from the family pets, so don’t look at Fido or Whiskers if your child comes down with a case of head lice.
  • While head lice are gross to think about, the good news is that they are easy to get rid of. Most head lice infestations respond easily to over-the-counter treatments containing permethrin (i.e. Nix) or pyrethrins (i.e. Rid). Experts indicate that there is not any one type of pediculocide to use; the key is to be successful in removing both head lice and the nits.
  • The procedure for treating head lice and notifying parents may vary, depending on the school or day care facility a child attends. However, the most common way to control head lice is to contact parents immediately if head lice are detected and have the child sent home until treatment has been initiated and nits are removed. Some schools routinely have a school nurse spot check for lice; care providers may also routinely check kids in their care. Parents should be given instructions on how to get rid of the head lice and nits, and if at all possible, be shown the live lice and nits to aid in removal. Parents of the infected kid should be urged to check all other family members and to carefully wash and disinfect all linens, pillows and other items where a child may have laid. Communication to other parents in close contact with the infected child should be made, along with a recommendation to check their child’s head carefully each night over the next 7-10 days.
  • Adults should be careful not to embarrass the child, and attention given to the matter of head lice should be conducted in a discreet fashion. Keep in mind that it is nothing that the kid did or didn’t do–it just happened. After treatment, a child should be ready to return and learn to the classroom or care in no time!

Treatment For Head Lice:

When head lice are found, all members of the family should be examined. Only those showing evidence of infestation should be treated. Infested persons in the family should all be treated at the same time to prevent reinfestation from one family member to another.

Three different insecticides are labeled for head lice control and are available at most drug stores:

  • Natural pyrethrin formulations.
  • A synthetic pyrethroid, as permethrin (Nix).
  • Lindane, labeled as Kwell.

Natural pyrethrin formulations, which are sold under a number of labels, are effective but have very little residual activity. The synthetic pyrethroid permethrin (Nix) is effective and has a 10-day to 2-week residual effect after application. Both the natural pyrethrins and Nix may be purchased over the counter at most drug stores. Lindane (Kwell) is effective but is sold only with a prescription. Kwell takes longer to kill adults and nymphs than the other insecticides.

Treatment usually involves wetting the hair with the insecticide formulation, allowing it to remain a certain length of time, and then shampooing it out. Be sure to follow label instructions and use only products labeled for head louse control.

Remove clothing from the upper body before treatment, and use a towel to protect the eyes. Confine the treatment to the scalp and neck, and administer it over a sink-not in a shower or bathtub.

Consult your physician before treating anyone who has extensive scratches or cuts on the head or neck or anyone who is ill or using medications. Lice or nits in the eyebrows or eyelashes, on an infant, or on pregnant women should be removed by hand. Do not use an insecticide in the eye area.

Despite certain manufacturers’ claims, neither Kwell nor various over-the-counter pyrethrin formulations will kill all the eggs in the hair. When using Kwell or the pyrethrins, a second treatment is essen tial to kill young lice hatching from eggs not killed in the first treatment. However, studies show that 98 to 99.6 percent of subjects treated with a single treatment of Nix were louse-free after 14 days. Nix leaves a residue in the hair that protects against reinfestation for up to 2 weeks.

Treatment Of Lice Without Chemicals:

Apply conditioner in wet hair that has been washed with regular shampoo; leave the conditioner in and comb hair with a normal comb.

Use a fine-toothed comb next; pull through all hair in one stroke from the root to the ends. The wet lice and nymphs can’t move and stick to the comb; remove them in running water after each stroke.

After all hair is carefully combed using above technique, rinse hair and use regular comb in the drenched hair. Next, repeat the process of using a fine-toothed comb in the rinsed hair. Be sure to keep hair wet; the lice and nymphs dry quickly and will resume activity.

Continue combing in above process daily. The nits essentially “glue” themselves to hair and are very difficult to see. The continuing combing helps to remove any remaining lice and nymphs and newly-hatched ones.

The systematic combing is a two-week cycle to break the lice life cycle; if you short-cut the time, you could find your child becomes reinfested. The combing removes nits that hatch and then remove any nymphs before there is any chance to reproduce. Any empty eggshells should be removed also (there is a special nit comb that is recommended).

Parents should note that many schools and child care centers will not allow a child to return until he/she is nit-free or at least a full treatment has begun. Check with your school nurse or provider to determine the policy for returning a child with lice to school/care.

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