Nitpicking – The low-down on lice removal

Elaine Rodway AN outbreak of head lice at your child's school can leave you in a state of panic and embarrassment if your child is among those sent home with 'creepy-crawlies' in their hair. Calm down, folks. It's not the Bubonic Plague. Here's what you'll need: – Patience: The removal of lice is not an …

Elaine Rodway

AN outbreak of head lice at your child's school can leave you in a state of panic and embarrassment if your child is among those sent home with 'creepy-crawlies' in their hair.

Calm down, folks. It's not the Bubonic Plague.

Here's what you'll need:

– Patience: The removal of lice is not an impossible task. It is a lousy one, however. The removal of nits is even more tedious as they are glued to the hair shaft and are more difficult to dislodge.

– A lice/nit comb: A high-quality lice comb has long, fine, metal teeth that are very close together.

– A regular comb

– Conditioner or detangler

– Clips or barrettes to hold sections of your child's hair

– A plastic bowl with vinegar or hot, soapy water to clean the comb

– Paper towels to wipe comb

– A towel to place around your child's shoulders

– Videos, handheld games, books, or other distractions for your child

– Lots of light, such as a bright lamp that can be directed at the area you're combing or find a spot outside if there is sufficient daylight.

Before beginning the lice comb-out, wet the hair, add some conditioner or detangler, and comb out the tangles with a regular comb. Some people find that using plenty of goopy, white conditioner on the hair makes the combing process easier, slows down the lice, and makes it easier to see them on the comb.

Part your child's hair down the middle and clip up one half so it's out of the way.

On the loose side, pick up one small section of hair, about the width of your lice comb. Start at the scalp to catch the nits (lice eggs), which are laid and hatch just a fraction of an inch from the scalp. Pull the comb all the way through to the ends of the hair. You may see lice on the comb after you pull it through the hair.

Flick the teeth of the comb into a bowl, dip it in a bowl of soapy water, or wipe it with a paper towel after each swipe.

Keep combing each section until the comb comes out clean (no lice or nits). You may find it helpful to twist the combed hair and clip it to the head.

When you've finished the whole head, unclip the hair and rinse out the conditioner. Rinse the comb and clips in hot, soapy water to clean them. Wash the clothes you and your child were wearing during the comb-out.

Do a comb-out for everyone who has an active infestation every day or two until you've seen no live lice in the hair for about two weeks. The first combing should get rid of most of the lice. With each subsequent combing, you'll remove more of the remaining lice and some that have hatched in the meantime.

If lice are an ongoing problem in your area, try combing out hair once a month.

(Source: www.healthline.com)

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