Back-to-school prep includes lice review

Back-to-school prep includes lice review
Don't count on home remedies, experts say.

(HealthDay)— With the new school year here, parents need to think about how to deal with head lice, an expert says.

The first sign of may be excessive itching on the nape of the neck and behind the ears, said D'Ann Somerall, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing.

All children with lice and their bedmates should be treated at the same time. If lice are still present after treatment with over-the-counter products, parents should contact their , she said.

Before using any over-the-counter lice treatments on children age 2 and younger, parents should talk with their pediatrician, Somerall advised.

Home remedies—such as putting mayonnaise, vinegar or petroleum jelly in the hair and covering it with a shower cap —aren't effective, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Use a lice comb on your child's hair, even after you get rid of the lice, Somerall advised.

"It's best to use a metal comb instead of a plastic one," she said. "Remember that can be an ongoing battle, especially in group settings. There's no doubt that they can be hard bugs to get rid of, so being persistent and following the directions of the medications used to treat your child's hair is key."

If you suspect your child has head lice, check with the nurse or director to see if other children have recently been treated for lice. If you confirm that your child does have head lice, alert school or care center staff.

A major misconception is that head lice affect only disadvantaged children.

"It has nothing to do with how clean or dirty your home or school may be, or how clean or dirty your kids may be," Somerall said. "Affluent schools, rural schools, urban schools—anyone from any socioeconomic background can get head lice, no matter how clean their hair or home."

More information: The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about head lice.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Keep lice off your child's head

Jan 24, 2014

(HealthDay)—It's that time of year when your children are back in school—and you need to be on the lookout for head lice, an expert says.

Doc dispels common myths about head lice

Oct 18, 2013

(HealthDay)—Although lice do not cause serious physical harm, they can result in a lot of emotional distress because many people still mistakenly believe they are a sign of poor hygiene, an expert explains.

Resistant strain of head lice prevalent in North America

Mar 12, 2014

(HealthDay)—Widespread use of pyrethrins- or pyrethroid-based products appears to have resulted in selection pressure for a highly-resistant strain of human head lice in North America, according to research ...

Head lice beginning to show permethrin resistance

Jun 05, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Although live head lice obtained from school-aged children in Paris remain susceptible to the insecticide malathion, approximately 14 percent have been found to be resistant to permethrin, suggesting ...

Recommended for you

Testosterone testing has increased in recent years

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—There has been a recent increase in the rate of testosterone testing, with more testing seen in men with comorbidities associated with hypogonadism, according to research published online Nov. ...

AMA: Hospital staff should consider impact of CMS rule

Nov 21, 2014

(HealthDay)—Hospital medical staff members need to consider the impact of a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that revised the conditions of participation for hospitals ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.