Lice

Lice ~ It Happens!

Everyone dreads hearing that their child has lice, but unfortunately lice is still a very commons issue, especially amongst school age children. Anyone can get lice, it doesn’t matter how clean your hair may be.

The best way to handle the out break of lice is to make sure you know the following:

  • ways to prevent head lice
  • the signs of head lice
  • how to properly search for and identify lice
  • effective treatments
  • educating others
Prevent:

Make sure that you are using defence products, just like you protect your children using sun block or insect repellent you can protect them from lice by using the right products on their hair. Ingredients like rosemary and tea tree are proven to repel lice. Zsa Zsa’s Hair Salon carries the Original Sprout line of products which are proven to protect against lice.

You also want to talk to your children so that they develop good habits when it comes to sharing items at school, camp or play dates with other children. Make sure that they are not sharing brushes, combs, hair accessories, hats and even clothing items such as sweaters and jackets that do come in contact with the hair.

Signs of Lice:

It can sometimes be very difficult to identify lice/nits in your children’s hair, especially with dry scalp, cradle cap or any of the other things that may end up in your children’s hair in the run of the day. Nits are tiny tear shaped eggs that can vary in colour from clear to dark brown and they are securely attached to the hair strand. If it cannot be removed by just flicking or brushing and it needs to be literally scraped off then it is most likely a nit. There will probably be more nits near by and they are usually located within 1/4-1/2 inch away from the scalp, but not always. If there are adult lice they are usually easier to spot at the nape of the neck, the crown of the head or behind the ears.

Treatment:

Once you have determined that someone in your house has lice, it is important to do frequent head checks on everyone else in the home. It is quite common for the lice to be contracted by siblings and/or parents.

Traditionally families use over the counter chemical based products that contain insecticides which will kill the lice and nits. Some of these products are becoming not as efficient as the lice are becoming immune to the insecticides. The important thing to remember when treating a lice out break is that you must kill all of the lice and the nits. If one tiny nit or bug is left it can result in a complete re-infestation.

Cleaning:

The next step is to make sure that your thoroughly clean everything.

  • do an inventory of where your children have been and where they might have shed lice/nits: coach, bed, car seats, carpet, etc.
  •  dry all linens, coats, hats, clothes, stuffed animals on HIGH heat for at least 45 minutes. Not everything needs to be washed as it is the high heat that kills.
  • items that cannot be washed will need to be placed in a sealed plastic bag for at least 48 hours, smaller items may be placed in a sealed plastic bag and put in the freezer for at least 12 hours.
  • one of the best ways to “treat” a living space would be to vacate the area if possible for 48 hours. Lice die without a host after 48 hours.
  • brushes and combs should be boiled for 20 minutes.
Educate Others:

Remember it is important to be observant and vocal if someone in your family has lice, be open with your school, extended family and friends. Having lice is nothing to be ashamed about! If you have other questions you may contact us!