I haven't written about the customer
service calls we get here at Tec Labs, but the one we received the
other day is becoming a common occurrence as more parents are
dealing with difficult cases of head lice.
A very frustrated father called in with a 12 year old son who
had been fighting head lice for two months. His son was
infested when his younger cousin visited while she had head lice.
While she had very long hair and was able to get rid of the lice
quickly, they could not get them out of their son's very short
hair. After further questioning, I found out the father was trying
multiple solutions all at once, and wasn't completely certain what
he was finding in his son's hair was even head lice. His son was
miserable because he scalp was getting very irritated, and Dad was
upset that he couldn't find a solution to their problem.
This brings to mind a few things that parents should know when
dealing with head lice:
First, you will want to make sure you are actually
dealing with head lice. Check small sections of the hair
starting at the nape of the neck. Look for sesame seed size insects
that will either be clear or brown in color. Lice turn brown when
they feed on your blood. You will also want to check for nits (lice
eggs). Nits are very small, attached to the hair shaft, and are
difficult to remove. If you find something in your hair that combs
out or falls out easily, then it is not a nit. See images
of head lice for reference.
If you determine you are dealing with head lice, choose
an appropriate head lice treatment. Visit your local
pharmacy and select an over the counter head lice treatment. Lice
treatments are typically found in the first aid section of the
store. Of course we recommend choosing a non-toxic solution like Licefreee. Only use
one method of treatment at a time, and be sure to follow all
directions. Follow your treatment by thoroughly combing nits out of
the hair using a nit comb. Metal nit combs work better than the
plastic ones that come with many OTC head lice treatments.
Perform daily head checks. If you are treating
a head lice infestation, hang on to that nit comb and continue to
do head checks daily. You may not have found every nit with your
first comb through. You can remove any new nits that you find
without doing a complete treatment. However, it is recommended to
do a second complete treatment within 7-10 days in case any missed
nit has hatched.
In addition to treating hair for head lice, clean
infested areas of your home. Washing sheets, vacuuming and
running items through the dryer can clean up head lice that may
have travelled off the scalp. See tips
for cleaning up after a head lice infestation.
If you get rid of head lice for several weeks and then
find them again it may be a new infestation. It can be
really frustrating to find out you have to deal with head lice
again after you have recently dealt with it. Check with your
child's school to see if they have children sharing coat hooks or
lockers. Are hats, helmets, combs, brushes, or hair accessories
being shared? Teach your children not to share personal items
and/or work with your child's school to separate items that may be