Just as important though, if not more important, especially as head lice become increasing resistant to regular head lice treatments, is to learn about head lice prevention. Remember, head lice don’t usually jump from one child’s head to another child. Instead, they spread by direct contact, maybe using something like a hat or hairbrush to help them get from one child’s head to anothers. Head Lice Prevention To prevent your child from getting head lice, it can help to: teach them to avoid sharing things that have been on or near another child’s head, including hairbrushes, combs, hats, scarves, towels, helmets , etc. make sure your child hangs up his coat and hat on an individual hook, or some other separate area, when he gets to school, instead of just throwing them in a pile with other classmates’ clothing regularly clean things that your child’s head has direct contact with, such as car seats, pillows, head phones, etc., if you are sharing these items with other children However, since ‘young children come into close head-to-head contact with each other frequently,’ according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, ‘it is probably impossible to totally prevent head lice infestations.’ That makes it important to check your children regularly for nits and live head lice so that you can discover a head lice infestation as early as possible and begin treatment before it spreads to the rest of your family and your child’s friends and classmates.
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How to get rid of head lice
With recent outcries about the disproportionate penalty for kids with an infestation that is both treatable and not involved in the spread of disease, some schools are revising their policies. Sending children home from school can be a burden on both kids and parents; children must face social stigma and isolation, while parents must arrange childcare. Despite the belief that head lice infestation occurs only in individuals with poor hygiene, lice can affect anyone. It is most common in children because they are more likely to have head to head contact with schoolmates and friends. School administrators with no-nit policies argue that infestations can spread quickly through schools, causing distractions, expense, and inconvenience for kids and their families. By sending a child home under a no-nit policy, administrators can avoid having larger outbreaks of lice affect their students – and avoid the nasty calls from parents whose kids picked up lice from classmates. Re-examining no-nit policies Over the past year, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has been encouraging schools to revise no-nit policies.
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Getting nitpicky about head lice
There are now a number of natural products on the market designed to kill head lice. These usually contain tea tree oil, lavender or eucalyptus oils. To make a treatment yourself add a few drops of tea tree oil to your child’s conditioner. Leave on the hair for an hour, then comb through the hair with a fine-toothed comb. GERMAN MEASLES What is it? German measles is one of a number of similar viral infections that children commonly pick up at school. These infections, called enteroviruses or adenoviruses, cause fine pink rashes and mild fevers.
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School head lice policies require a new look at old standards
And although you might see the eggs on the hair shafts, that is not enough to truly diagnose the infection, but if you do have a lice infection, the way to truly diagnose is to visualize lice moving on the scalp. What are Some Treatments? If you notice any of these symptoms, you should try an Over-the-Counter (OTC) treatment shampoo to try and kill off the parasites early. The OTC shampoos either have pyrethrin (like Rid) or permethrin (like Nix). If that does not work, you can call your Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) to prescribe a stronger treatment. Malathion(Ovide) is a medication that should only be used on people older than 6 years old, rubbed into the hair and scalp. It is highly flammable!Benzyl alcohol lotion, is also applied the same way as the malathion, and is a newer treatment that cannot be used on those less than 6 months old, and even in adults, the FDA does warn of risk of seizures and other pretty serious side effects.As with any treatment, make sure that your HCP is aware if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as some of the drugs are absorbed into the skin and can be excreted in breast milk.
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How to treat chickenpox, head lice and German measles
‘The chances are that the lotion you have in the back of your medicine cupboard from last year might be useless this year if the lice have become resistant to it. ‘Check with your doctor, pharmacist or school nurse for the current recommended brand in your area.’ Are all treatments safe? Many parents have fears about using prescription and pharmacy brands as some contain low doses of organophosphates such as Malathion. However the Government’s Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals recently found there is no evidence to support the view that low dose exposure to these treatments causes significant harm to the nervous system. Despite this, many GPs advise parents whose children have a history of allergies to chemical based lotions to use electronic nit combs instead. ‘The comb, which should be used on dry hair, delivers a weak electrical charge which is painless to use but kills the lice instantly,’ says Dr Clarke.
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The Ultimate Intruder: Head Lice
Some pyrethroids have been banned from agricultural use, yet they’re still allowed in lice treatments. Another problem with these chemicals is that they simply don’t work as well as they used to because head lice have built up a resistance to these pesticides. Thus parents douse kids over and over again with chemicals that that were only meant to be used as an isolated treatment. So what are the safe options for head lice? Not to nit-pick, but well, you’re going to have to nit-pick. No, it’s not easy, but it also won’t harm your kids. Check out this post on the best ways to pick head lice.
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