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  1. Slideshow: Treating and Preventing a Head Lice Infestation
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  3. Home Remedies for Head Lice: What Works?
  4. Treatment - Head lice
  5. How do you get head lice?

Mayonnaise is said to smother lice, but check with your doctor first.

Slideshow: Treating and Preventing a Head Lice Infestation

Vinegar is rumored to dissolve the glue that keeps nits stuck to the hair. There is no scientific evidence to support these home remedies, and pediatricians say you should not rely on them as your main treatment. Fine-toothed combs are another way to get rid of lice. This comb has teeth fine enough to pull out lice and their nits.

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It worked for the ancient Egyptians -- nit combs have been found in their tombs. The drawback is that it takes time and patience to comb every last nit out of a child's hair. It is more effective to comb the hair after treating with a medicated shampoo to get rid of any stragglers.

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  • How to Get Rid of Lice at Home.
  • FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions!

Head lice are not a scourge of the lower classes, nor a sign of poor hygiene. They affect children across all levels of income, social class, and cleanliness. The bugs can survive underwater for up to 6 hours, so kids who bathe regularly are just as vulnerable. The good news is lice don't carry diseases. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a healthy child should not be kept home from school because of lice.

It recommends that a child remain in class but avoid head contact with others. After treatment, dead eggs may remain in a child's hair until they are removed. Some schools have a "no nits" policy, meaning the eggs must be removed before the child returns to class. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages this policy. If you have young children, there's unfortunately very little you can do to ward off head lice. Kids will be kids, and when they put their heads together or share hair bows, lice get a ticket to ride.

Your best defense is to examine your child's hair and scalp regularly so you can catch an infestation early. Quick treatment will help prevent the bugs from spreading to the rest of the family.

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    Roberts, R. New England Journal of Medicine , May 23, Reviewed by Hansa D. This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial Children's Health Slideshows.

    Home Remedies for Head Lice: What Works?

    Swipe to advance. Up Next Next Slideshow Title. Skip Ad. Hoekelman, R. Primary Care, Mosby, Jahnke, C. Archives of Dermatology, Lebwohl, M. Pediatrics , May University of Nebraska-Lincoln. WebMD Slideshows View our slideshows to learn more about your health. Psoriasis 14 home remedies to try. Head lice What are head lice? How do you get head lice?

    Signs and symptoms Your scalp may itch as your skin reacts to the saliva of the head lice. Adult lice are usually dark brown and about 2 to 3 mm long. Hatchlings young lice are often a lighter brown colour and about 1 to 2 mm long. Eggs will be attached to the hair shaft. They can be very tiny and hard to see, especially newly-laid eggs close to the scalp. They are grey-white and about the size of a grain of salt. Checking for head lice Unless you can easily see the head lice, the speed at which they can move makes checking dry hair unreliable.

    Treatment - Head lice

    To check hair for head lice: Carefully comb plenty of hair conditioner through dry hair. The conditioner slows the head lice down so they can be trapped in the comb. Wipe the waste from the comb on a white paper towel. Look for head lice and eggs using a magnifying glass in strong light, such as sunlight. Use a magnifying glass in strong light to examine hair close to the scalp, especially behind the ears and at the back of the neck.

    What can be mistaken for head lice? If you find head lice Check to see if anyone else living in your house has head lice — use the hair conditioner method described above. Choose the treatment method that best suits you and your family and follow the instructions carefully. Inform your school, child care centre, playgroup, neighbours and relatives so that other children and adults who have been in close contact can be checked. When the treatment is completed and all head lice and eggs have been removed, continue to check hair weekly for further outbreaks. Stay home from school Under the School Education Act , if your child has head lice the principal may keep him or her away from school until treatment has started.

    How do you get head lice?

    Prevent further outbreaks Check hair regularly for head lice and eggs. Early treatment of head lice can prevent it spreading further to close contacts.

    Tie long hair back. Hair gel or mousse may help keep stray hair strands from coming in contact with other heads.

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    Avoid sharing combs or brushes. If you have recently had head lice, leave brushes and combs in hot water for 10 minutes after use to kill any trapped head lice or eggs. Clean them with an old toothbrush to help remove any waste. Remind your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other children, for example when working at the computer with others, playing or hugging. Acknowledgements Public Health.