|Lice - Head|
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Head Louse (Female)
Head Lice - Searching Hair
Head Lice Size Compared to a Penny
Lice and Nits
Lifespan of Lice
Return to School
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR HEAD LICE|
- Head lice can be treated at home.
- With treatment, all lice and nits are usually killed.
- Nix: Buy Nix anti-lice creme rinse (over-the-counter) and follow package directions.
- First, wash the hair with a regular shampoo and towel dry it before using the anti-lice creme. Do NOT use a conditioner or creme rinse after shampooing (Reason: interferes with NIX).
- Pour 2 ounces (full bottle) of Nix into damp hair. People with long hair may need to use 2 bottles.
- Work the creme into all the hair down to the roots.
- If necessary, add a little warm water to work up a lather.
- Nix is safe above 2 months old.
- Leave the shampoo on for a full 10 minutes or it won't kill all the lice. Then rinse the hair thoroughly with water and dry it with a towel. Â
- Repeat the anti-lice shampoo in 1 week to kill any nits that survived.
- Remove the Dead Nits: Â
- Remove the dead nits by backcombing with a special nit comb or pull them out individually. Â
- Even though treated nits are dead, some schools will not allow children to return if nits are present.
- Hairwashing Precautions to Help Nix Work:
- Don't wash the hair with shampoo until 2 days after lice treatment
- Avoid hair conditioners before treatment and for 2 weeks afterwards (Reason: coats the hair and interferes with Nix)
- Contagiousness of Lice: Â
- Lice are transmitted by close contact (they cannot jump).
- Your child can return to day care or school after 1 treatment with the anti-lice shampoo. Â
- Check the heads of everyone else living in your home. Â If lice or nits are seen, or someone has the new onset of an itchy scalp rash, they also should be treated with anti-lice shampoo.
- Bedmates of children with lice should also be treated. Â If in doubt, have your child examined for lice.
- Re-emphasize not sharing combs and hats. Â
- Also notify the school nurse or day care center director so she can check other students in your child's class/center.
- Cleaning the House:
- Lice that are off the body rarely cause reinfection. (Reason: lice can't live for over 24 hours off the human body.) Just vacuum your child's room.
- Soak combs for 1 hour in a solution containing some anti-lice shampoo.
- Wash your child's sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and any clothes worn in the past 3 days in hot water (140Â° F kills lice and nits).
- Items that can't be washed (e.g., hats, coats, or scarves) should be set aside in sealed plastic bags for 2 weeks (the longest period that nits can survive).
- Expected Course:
- With treatment, all lice and nits will be killed.
- A recurrence usually means another contact with an infected person or the shampoo wasn't left on for 10 minutes or the treatment wasn't repeated in 7 days.
- There are no lasting problems from having lice and they do not carry other diseases.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- New lice or nits appear in the hair
- Scalp rash or itch lasts over 1 week after the anti-lice shampoo
- Sores on scalp start to spread or look infected
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 8/9/2007
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.