Head lice are very common in young children and are usually picked up from head-to-head contact.
They can be difficult to spot, but when you do see them, they appear as grey-brown insects about the size of a sesame seed.
Head lice eggs can also indicate and infestation – these appear yellow, brown or white and are often empty shells attached to the hair.
Shampoos, lotions, sprays or special fine-toothed combs, available from pharmacies, are the best way to get rid of them.
But how can you prevent an infestation returning or one happening in the first place?
According to a Healthline there are three preventative methods you should follow.
Don’t share items that touch the head like combs or towels
Head lice can crawl from an object onto a head, so it’s best to avoid sharing the following objects:
- Combs and brushes
- Hair clips and accessories
- Hate and bike helmets
- Scarves and coats
- Headsets and earbuds
Avoid activities that lead to head-to-head contact
While it’s easy for adults to do this, children naturally place their heads close together when they play.
To prevent an infestation ask your child to avoid games and activities where they have head-to-head contact with their friends.
Keep belongings, especially upper body clothing, away from shared areas like coat closets
Places like coat closets, lockers and drawers can be breeding grounds for lice and they become an easy opportunity for lice to pass from one person’s things to another’s.
Keep clothes out of common areas to avoid this.
What does it mean if head lice do not clear?
There are several reasons why things may not get better after treatment, according to the British Association of Dermatologists:
- The diagnosis of head lice infection may have been incorrect
- You may not have followed the treatment instructions correctly
- The lice may have been resistant to the chosen treatment
- You may have picked up a new infestation immediately after the treatment finished
But there are a couple of things you can do after treatment to make sure nits don’t return.