How to Treat Lice in Children


Once one child at school has head lice, others soon follow as they can be easily passed on by direct contact such as a child scratching her head and touching another child, not necessar­ily on their head. Lice are not fussy and are just as happy on a clean head of hair as on a dirty one, so your child’s hygiene is irrelevant. The lice live by sucking blood from the scalp. The bite marks will itch intensely and scratching can lead to infection or inflammation. The proliferate lice lay tiny pale eggs (nits) which stick firmly to the hair and look like dan­druff, except are difficult to remove. Once the eggs have hatched, the new batch of lice will live off the scalp and sur­vive for several weeks.

What you can do

Once you’ve discovered your child has lice, inform their school or nursery and playmates. Check the rest of the family for infestation. Strong-smelling shampoos and lotions can be bought from the chemist to get rid of the lice. However, these often have side-effects due to the strong chemicals used, which can be toxic and provoke allergic reactions. Tea-Tree shampoo is a natural alternative, although you will need several washes for it to be effective. The dead lice and nits should then be removed with a fine-tooth comb.

Treatment

Aromatherapy

To avoid the use of strong chemical shampoos to zap the lice and nits, an aromatherapist may make up a shampoo containing Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Sweet Thyme. A hair rinse and scalp tonic may also be given to pre­vent further infestations.

Herbal medicine

Herbalists may recommend Sassafras which works well on skin problems and acts as a disinfectant. Aniseed works as a parasiticide and the use of its oil can help control lice. The bitter effects of Quassia, if given in lotion form, may also be useful.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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