Back to school may mean the dreaded head lice
You may or may
not be familiar with head lice depending on how old your children are, unless
you personally experienced an outbreak during your school years.
Head lice are a common
infestation especially for primary school children, with 30% of all primary
school aged children getting head lice at least once a year. Head lice are
small, wingless insects that live, breed and feed on the human scalp.
Anyone can catch
head lice and it is not a sign of unwashed or dirty hair. In fact, head lice
prefer clean over dirty hair. Head lice can be caught simply by touching heads
or sharing a hat. So, if a child has head lice they should reduce contact with others
until treated, to avoid spreading the infestation. If you use the right products
to get rid of head lice, and wash all clothes and bedding that may have been
infested, you can clear the infestation successfully. It is important to note
that repeat treatments are often necessary to fully clear the infestation. Head
lice may be resistant to some treatments and the problem can be persistent and
Itchiness is a
common sign of head lice, but not all people will experience an itch. Looking
for head lice is quite a task especially in pale hair and if you aren’t sure if
you or your child has head lice ask your Capital Chemist pharmacist for advice.
Head lice eggs (sometimes
called nits) are oval shaped and about the size of a pinhead. They’ll be firmly
attached to the strands of hair close to the scalp. If the eggs are ‘hatched’
they’ll look like the top has been cut off and there may be a 6-legged insect nearby.
That’s your cue to immediately treat, treat, treat!
If you are
becoming frustrated, due to frequent re-infestation or you are dealing with a really
stubborn case, please visit your nearest Capital Chemist and we will assist you
with the right treatment for your family. Some Capital Chemists use the Lice
Clinics Australia non-toxic device which kills lice and their eggs through a
specific combination of temperature, air flow, time and technique. This
treatment is clinically proven to kill the living lice and 99.2% of their eggs,
so you leave the clinic lice free.
Schools have information for parents on how to
prevent, treat and minimise outbreaks of head lice , as well as guides on how
to inspect your child’s hair. You can request this information from your school
or state/territory health department or simply ask your Capital Chemist