Lice In Children - What To Do

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Lice In Children - What To Do
Lice In Children - What To Do
Video: Lice In Children - What To Do
Video: Head Lice in Babies and Children - Causes, Signs and Remedies 2023, February
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Lice in kindergarten

Head lice are often noticeable as severe itching. The small parasites are relatively harmless, but nuisance and time-consuming to treat. Lice are not necessarily related to poor hygiene. They can be transferred quickly from child's head to child's head. Lice also wander through shared pillows, wearing headgear such as hoods and using combs and brushes - albeit less often. The tiny parasites can spread wherever children “put their heads together” so to speak. Therefore, parents and guardians should react quickly and treat affected children carefully.

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  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • How do you recognize a louse infestation
  • What to do with a louse infestation?
  • Measures for combs, clothing & Co.
  • When can the child go back to kindergarten?
  • How can I protect my child from head lice?

How do you recognize a louse infestation

Head lice lay their eggs in the hair and feed on the blood of the scalp. They give off a salivary secretion that causes itching.

  • Itching and biting of the scalp can therefore be suspicious factors for lice. Therefore, if your child is constantly scratching their head, take a closer look at their scalp and hair and look out for lice.
  • The sure proof of a louse infestation is the finding of a living louse or larva (not yet fully grown louse). However, this is not always easy. The "pests" are very small at around two to three millimeters, have a flat body and are usually gray-brown. Larvae are a bit smaller - and can often only be seen with a magnifying glass.
  • It is best to comb wet hair thoroughly (lice comb / nit comb) - away from the hair root. To do this, part your hair and, in good light, check strand by strand for lice. Lice can be found in places such as temples, neck and behind the ears.

Brownish-gray lice eggs can also be found. These are around 0.8 millimeters in size, teardrop-shaped and are difficult to remove from the hair - even by washing and shaking off. In addition, whitish egg shells (nits) can be found. Larvae can still hatch from these. Both eggs and nits can also indicate a louse infestation.

Note Pets do not transmit this type of lice.

What to do with a louse infestation?

If there is louse alarm in kindergarten, school or among friends and acquaintances, you should definitely also take a close look at the heads of your loved ones. If a louse is found on the head / hair, it is necessary to carry out a treatment - and as quickly as possible. A wide variety of means with different active ingredients are offered for this (e.g. shampoos, rinses). In any case, you should read the package insert carefully and use it as directed. Post-treatment is necessary for many lice remedies. This must be observed, since nits / eggs can survive during the initial treatment, from which young lice hatch after eight to ten days. In the absence of a food source, however, they die on objects (such as combs) after about 55 hours.

Find out more about measures and products (correct use, contraindications, etc.) at the pharmacy, your doctor or the public health department / hygiene centers in the cities or states. Please refer to the package insert. You should consult a doctor, especially in the case of infants and small children, or if the scalp is scratched or if the scalp is diseased. In the case of pregnancy, breastfeeding, allergies or hypersensitivity, e.g. to chemical substances, asthma etc., you should also inform your doctor beforehand.

The ideal way to combat lice is to use an approved drug from the pharmacy in combination with combing out wet hair using a special nit comb. After parting, it is important to carefully and slowly comb the wet hair strand by strand from the scalp to the ends of the hair (sometimes more often). The nits, larvae and lice removed in this way can be carefully wiped off with a paper towel and disposed of accordingly.

If, some time after lice treatment, you find nits on your child's hair that are more than an inch from the scalp, but no lice, this can be a good sign. The lice infestation will probably be over by then. However, this is not entirely certain. Even if no more nits and lice are found, the scalp and hair must therefore be checked further.

Note that lice can already show resistance to certain agents - then another preparation must be used. Find out more at the pharmacy or your doctor.

Measures for combs, clothing & Co

In addition to combating lice with special lice remedies and combing them out, the following measures can also be used:

  • Carefully clean combs, brushes and hair clips etc. in hot soapy water.
  • After the treatment or combing out, clothing should be changed and treated accordingly.
  • Also change bed linen, clothes, towels and other textiles that may be affected and wash them at at least 60 degrees.
  • Hats, cuddly toys, cuddly blankets, pillows, toys, etc., which lice could have gotten on but which cannot be washed as warmly, can be packed in a tightly closed plastic bag and "starved" at room temperature or as warm as possible. A stay of a few days in freezing temperatures (-10 to -15 degrees Celsius) kills lice.
  • Child seats etc. can be vacuumed well with a vacuum cleaner to remove all hair and lice. Bedrooms, living rooms, etc. can also be vacuumed. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag immediately afterwards.
  • The use of disinfectants and insect sprays (for furniture etc.) is not necessary.
  • Also not necessary: ​​cut or shave the hair short.
  • You can obtain more detailed information on combating lice and disinfestation from the health department / health service, for example. Some agencies also carry out delousing. You can also get information and addresses on the respective website.

Note As a parent or legal guardian, you should inform the staff of the kindergarten or the public institution immediately if your child develops head lice. This also applies to the immediate environment - like the parents of children with whom your child interacts. Lice can only be permanently banned if everyone participates in preventive measures (regular checks of the scalp and hair) and careful treatment. Some kindergartens require confirmation from the doctor or the health department that they are free of lice and nits.

When can the child go back to kindergarten?

It is best to find out in kindergarten when the child is allowed to go back to kindergarten. Note that further treatments often have to be carried out (depending on the preparation). To be on the safe side, you can also contact your doctor.

How can I protect my child from head lice?

There is no such thing as optimal protection. Anyone who has close contact with other people can get lice. However, it is advisable to check children's scalps and hair regularly.

Further information

You can get more information from the respective kindergarten, from the health centers of the cities and federal states and from your general practitioner.

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