Itchy head? The low-down on head lice
“Your child has head lice.” It’s the note from school or daycare all parents dread...
The next most feared notice is the one that announces an epidemic of nits is going around the class. Next thing you know, you’ll be watching like a hawk every time your child scratches his or her head and ferreting in their hair for eggs. Before long the whole family will be scratching their heads with phantom nits, if not actual ones.
Little girls, apparently, are terrible nit spreaders due to rubbing their heads together in a BFF embrace. The only time our son ever got them was after family friends and their preschooler house sat for us one summer. The horror!
If you haven’t had head lice in the family before, you’ll spend a lot of time wondering if the black dot on your child’s scalp is a bonafide nit egg or just a souvenir from the kindy sandpit. But trust me, when you see an actual nit jump in your child’s hair, looking like a small, determined flea, you’ll recognize the real thing immediately.
Next come the treatments. Dozens of lotions and potions and nit combs from the chemist. Hours of nit picking, and nit crimping and hair washing and sheet boiling and being generally grossed out by how persistent the little critters are. Everyone has advice, and some of it actually works. If you’re tackling nits for the first time, good luck. You’ll need it.
Head lice: What you need to know
Head lice are small insect creatures that live on the scalp of human heads that live by feeding off the blood from the scalp. Lice will normally feed 2-3 times a day. Head lice can be found at the base of the hair follicle and normally latch onto the hair strands. The size varies depending on their maturity - the largest louse is normally the size of a sesame seed. Head lice are a greyish brown colour.
Head lice don’t have wings - they cannot jump, hop or fly, instead they spread by head to head contact and it only takes 30 seconds to transfer. Lice are normally prevalent in children aged 4 - 11 years, however, they also found in adolescents and adults in a family situation.
Head lice are more common in girls than boys. They are virtually colourless until they take their first blood meal and are less than 1mm when they hatch.
- Lice jump or fly from head to head
- Lice live in carpets, beds, clothes and school buses
- Some products prevent head lice
- Head Lice are selective about their home
- Head Lice can only be found in dirty hair and not clean hair
- Live only on humans
- Can’t live on pets
- Can’t live on bedding, upholstery, hair brushes or hats
- Will die 1-2 days after leaving a human
- Live in head hair
- Close to the scalp
- No preference of hair type or length
- They feed on human blood
- Bites may cause itching of the scalp
Hedrin 15 Liquid Gel & Spray Gel
Hedrin is highly effective against Lice and Eggs in a 15 minute application and will immobilise louse within 10 seconds of contact by blocking breathing tubes of lice & trachea. No harsh chemicals and 100% kill rate of lice and eggs.
Available at Unichem and Life and most NZ pharmacies also Countdown Pharmacies nationwide.
- Clinical trials completed in 2010 and Presented at the European 1CP4 Congress in June 2010 and published in BioMed Central February 2011
USL Consumer Products www.hedrin.co.nz
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