Head Lice

Head lice are very small brown insects that live in hair. Head lice are not much larger than a pinhead. They cannot jump or fly; instead, they can crawl from one head to another. This is why head lice more usually affect children because children usually engage in more ‘head-to-head’ contact when they play. If your child is infected with head lice, you might notice them scratching behind their ears and at the nape of their neck.

Only treat your child for head lice if you are certain that they are present. Use ‘detection combing’ to check for the presence of head lice:

  • Wash your child’s hair, rinse it and then apply conditioner
  • Comb your child’s hair with a normal comb and then switch to using your detection comb
  • You slot the teeth of your detection comb into the roots of your child’s hair and draw the comb through to the tips of your child’s hair
  • You then repeat this in all possible directions until all of your child’s hair has been combed through
  • You should check your comb for the presence of lice after every stroke. After each stroke, clean your comb with tissue or rinse it under the tap
  • After the entire head has been combed through, rinse out all of the conditioner
  • You should then repeat the whole process again to make sure that no lice were missed
  • This wet-combing should be carried out every four days for a minimum of two weeks
  • The whole family should be checked in this way