8 Steps to Treating Head Lice

By Caileen  |  Wednesday, May 18, 2011  |  ,  |  1 comment

iStock_000014068263XSmallAs the summer months approach and kids head off to summer camp, slumber parties, and sporting events- parents need to be aware of the possibility of head lice, or Pediculosis. We have launched the Keeping Kids Lice Free campaign to help educate parents and care takers of the symptoms and how to prevent head lice. If you have been notified that your child has contracted head lice, follow these easy steps to treat and prevent re-infestation.


1) Choose a safe and proven pediculicide. This is an agent used to kill head lice, body lice or pubic lice. Treatments that are pyrethrum or permethrin based may trigger reactions in those who are allergic to ragweed. Be sure to check the ingredients or talk to a doctor or pharmacist before choosing a treatment.

2) Start at the Nape of the Neck. Lice congregate at the nape of the neck and behind the ears. Be sure these areas are thoroughly saturated with the pediculicide first and work the product up from there.  With any pediculicide, all lice and eggs must come in full contact with the product. Lice can move quickly to avoid contact with the lotion or gel.   Take it slow and remember to read and follow all directions carefully and completely.

3) Remove all of the Eggs or Nits. Begin the comb-out process at the nape of the neck. You will want to use an egg removal comb to help ease egg removal. Thoroughly combing out the hair until all lice and eggs are gone will help prevent re-infestation.

4) Clean up to prevent another infestation.

  • Wash all bedding and clothing that your child has used in hot water (at least 130°F) or run them through your dryer's hottest setting for at least 30 minutes.  Dry clean items that cannot be washed.
  • Soak all hair care items (such as combs, brushes, hair clips, etc.) in hot water (130°F) for 15 minutes
  • Place items that cannot be cleaned or run through the dryer (i.e. stuffed animals and toys) in a tightly sealed plastic bag for 10-14 days.
  • Follow up with the vacuum to get rid of any lice dust or egg shells that were left behind.

5). Follow through with a second treatment in seven days to kill any newly hatched lice. Even if all lice and eggs appear to be gone, follow through with the second treatment.


6) Conduct Frequent Head Checks. After an infested family member has been treated, for the next 10 days, check them daily for eggs. If there is evidence of new eggs or newly hatched lice, repeat the treatment.  Head checking should then become part of routine hygiene. A family head lice check once a week is a great idea. You'll need an egg removal comb, a magnifying glass and lots of light. Work through a small section at a time, comb through each person's hair, from the root down. If any live lice or eggs are found, begin treatment immediately.

7) Teach your child to avoid sharing personal items. Lice are only transmitted from head to head contact and re-infestation from environmental contact (i.e. infested hats, pillows, stuffed animals, etc.) can occur.

8) When in doubt ask my pharmacist or school health official for advice. They're familiar with the treatments and products currently on the shelves and will give you reliable recommendations.  Keep in touch with your child's school so that you'll know if a lice outbreak occurs!

For more tips and info visit Licefreee.com

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1 comment for “8 Steps to Treating Head Lice”

  1. Posted 6/2/2014 at 9:07:33 AM
    Gravatar of Genna

    Thx! All eight steps really helped!😃

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