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Prevention and Treatment
 
Prevention

 

  • Avoid head to head contact.
  • Do not share combs, hats, hair barrettes, scarves, and coats.
  • Parent should check pre-school and elementary children’s hair routinely for signs of nits and live lice.
  • If your child has head lice, inform the parents of all the children that they have come in close contact with for the past three-four weeks.
  • Information of how to check your child’s head can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/lice/head/parents.html
Treatment
  •  Check all family members on the same day and only those with signs of live head lice should be treated.
  • There are several over-the-counter and prescription treatments.
  • For information on the different treatments, go to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • It is important to follow the directions on the box for the treatment to be effective.
  • Do not use combination shampoo/conditoner before using lice medicine.  Do not re-wash the hair for 1-2 days after the lice medicine is removed. 
  • Remove as many nits as possible in order to avoid confusion as to whether or not the child still has an active case of head lice.  Removal of the nits requires daily combing of the hair for 7-10 days with a fine-toothed nit comb.

Environmental Measures

 

  • Machine wash and dry all personal items (bedding, clothing, towels, etc.) used within 2 days before treatment.
  • Wash items in HOT water in the washing machine and/or place in HOT dryer for 20 minutes.
  • Seal non-washable items like stuffed animals in plastic bags for 10 days. 
  • Vacuum floors/carpet and furniture.  However, spending a lot of time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary. 
  • Spraying with an insecticide is not recommended because it can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Last Modified on November 20, 2014