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Lola Rovati @Lolarovati

The seasons of heat are conducive to the appearance of the so hated lice. Just as at the beginning of the school year, when the warm spring days begin, we come face to face with the pediculosis, or lice infestation.

Today there are all kinds of pediculicidal treatments, some more effective than others so sometimes lice do not end up disappearing, a situation that ends up despairing more than one mother.

In this post we will discuss what we can do to fight head lice and to make them disappear permanently from the heads of our children.

It is essential to know how to act to adequately treat the infestation by lice and thus avoid new outbreaks. Here is a practical guide to lice for mothers on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Keep calm and common sense

There are parents who are desperate to learn that their child has lice. It is important to know that head lice infestation has nothing to do with poor hygiene, hair length, hairstyle or disease.

It is also not necessary to shave or cut children's hair, and in no way use products that can be toxic or dangerous like gasoline or bleach.

In these cases you have to be practical, inform yourself and act with decision and common sense.

Know and recognize the enemy

In order to eliminate them effectively we must first know what the lice are like and eliminate false myths. There are mothers, like me, who did not see a louse in their life until they met him walking on the heads of their children.

Lice are disgusting bugs (because beautiful can not be said to be). They are parasites that feed on human blood and need the heat of the body to live. They measure between 2 and 3 cm, are elongated, have no wings, have 6 legs (2 on the head) and their color is grayish brown. When sucking the blood, it injects a toxin that causes itching in the head, although some children are asymptomatic.

They live around 30 days in the head, but only two days. at best, out of it. Each female louse can lay 200 eggs throughout its life (an average of 6 per night), which are what we know as nits. They are light brown and when they are alive they lodge less than half a centimeter from the hair root.

The larvae hatch from the egg at seven days and it will take another week to become adult lice.

Lice are transmitted from person to person, by direct head contact. Also through combs, pillows, hats, pigtails, etc. They do not live in sandboxes, nor in grass, nor in domestic animals.

Eliminate lice and nits

As soon as we detect a louse on the head of our children we should apply some type of treatment.

The most common is that in the pharmacy we recommend some pediculicide with permethrin or phenothrin, pesticide solutions indicated to combat lice not recommended for children under 2 years. But these products are not as effective. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of the lice population has become resistant to these insecticides. That is, lice survive their application making parents spend a good money to buy and serve little, or not at all.

We have recommended on some occasion in the blog to treat lice with home remedies such as oils or natural substances capable of killing lice by suffocation. There is a product sold in pharmacies with coconut oil and anise that has a strong smell and is applied as a spray on the child's head.

It has worked well for me at the moment, but it is important not to forget to repeat the treatment for the second time a week or 10 days as indicated in the product instructions.

The vinegar, it has to be apple, is a classic to fight lice. On the website Mothers against lice, which has helped me a lot in my fight against the unwanted guests, we talk about preparing a glass of vinegar and the same amount of hot water (without boiling), putting it in your hair, putting on a cap, letting you act two hours, wash the head and pass the fine comb. It is also recommended as a very effective treatment with baby oil.

The truth is that one of the best ways to combat them is to check the head frequently, especially at the most active times of the year, looking well in the area of ​​the neck and behind the ears, the sites preferred by lice.

A safe investment is to buy a good fine comb of metallic teeth, known as hares (the one that worked best for me was the Assy brand). They are not cheap, but it's worth it, because another effective way to fight lice is to pass the fine comb every day to strand to eliminate lice or nits that might have been left alive after applying the treatment.

Once removed from the head, they must be removed from other places where they can survive one or two days. You have to wash the bedding, sheets, pillow cases, cushions, towels and clothes with which the lice may have come in contact with hot water. The stuffed animals can be one of them, so the convenient thing is to wash them or place them in a bag and leave them there for 10 days.

To prevent

Once we have applied a treatment to kill the lice we must be very cautious with the prevention because in a few days the unwanted bugs will appear again.

When there are no traces of lice or nits on the head, it is also convenient to check and pass the comb at least once a week. The most advisable thing is to wash the hair, apply abundant cream rinse to facilitate the task and pass the comb thoroughly insisting on the most conflicted areas of the head.

Apple cider vinegar is a good preventive method against lice because vinegar vapor suffocates lice. After each wash apply a part of vinegar for two of water in the hair and do not rinse.

In girls, it is necessary to avoid going to school with loose hair as this facilitates infection. Each child should have their own towel, their own brush and their own hair accessories.

There are spray repellents for lice but its toxicity is questioned. In the herbalists you can find some special oils to keep the lice at bay.

There are also products such as shampoos for daily use that contain Quassia Amara, a tropical plant used as an insecticide to repel lice.

We must try to make our children's hair as attractive as possible for lice. We can do it by applying a good amount of softener, if without creams that we rinse, better, using rubber bands or spraying the children's head with perfume or cologne.

When can you go back to school

Nowadays, treatments eliminate lice on the same day, as long as we pass the fine comb to eliminate any lice or nits that may have been left alive. Each school has its own rules of action in the case of pediculosis, however, most official Public Health documents "consider it reasonable for children not to interrupt their attendance at school".

What we should do as parents is to ensure that the child returns to school clean of lice, repeat the treatment in 7/10 days and act preventively by passing the fine comb with some frequency.

More information | Sepeap.orgIn Babies and more | Home remedies against lice, lice, lice patrol, lice more resistant against children

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