Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

3 Steps To Take After Your Child Is Exposed To Lice

by Caitlin Obara

Its every parent's worst nightmare-- your child's school calls to inform you that students in your child's class have head lice. Lice is very contagious, and it can spread rapidly in children who are in close contact with each other. Luckily, head lice are not dangerous or harmful to your child, but getting rid of lice can be a frustrating process. If your child has been exposed to lice, use the following tips:

Watch for Signs of Lice Infestation

One of the more common signs of lice is an itchy scalp. Keep an eye on your child after exposure to lice-- if he or she is itching his or her head often there may be lice present. Take a look at your child's scalp to see if there are any signs of small red bumps or a rash that can be caused by lice. It may also be possible for you to see the lice or their eggs (nits) by sectioning your child's hair and examining the scalp, nape of the neck, and behind the ears.

Begin Treatment

There are a number of medicated shampoos and lotions designed to kill lice that can be purchased over the counter at a drug store. Apply the shampoo or lotion to your child's head according to the directions. If your child has picked up a type of lice that is highly resistant to the medications used in traditional lice treatment shampoos and lotions, you may need to see your family's doctor to get a prescription for a stronger medicated shampoo or lotion.

After the medicated lice shampoo or lotion has been used as directed, you can use a fine tooth comb daily to check your child's hair and scalp and remove lice and nits. It is recommended that you wet your child's hair and apply conditioner to make it easier to comb through the hair and remove the dead lice and nits.

Wash All Linens

Since lice is so contagious, it can quickly spread through to other members of your household. As soon as you discover that your child has lice, remove all of the pillowcases, sheets, and blankets from the beds in your home. It is also a good idea to collect all of your towels so you can launder them. Make sure you wash everything on the hottest water setting possible to ensure that any lice on the towel or linens are killed. After laundering, dry all of the towels and linens on the hottest setting your dryer has.