On Friday, we covered how to recognize and get rid of head lice. It’s also important to know how keep the little buggers from coming back. After the first treatment, help avoid head lice re-infestation with a few steps:
• Check your child’s hair and comb it with a nit comb every couple of days for two or three weeks.
• Machine wash and dry all hats, scarves, pillow cases, bedding, clothing and towels that were used in the two days just before treatment. Do not share or re-use these items until they’re laundered and dried. Use hot water and hot air cycles to kill all the lice and eggs. Dry clean all unwashables or seal them in a plastic bag for two weeks.
• Vacuum all furniture and floors.
It’s always good to be on the lookout for the return of “unwelcome guests,” but make sure that what you “know” about head lice is really true. There are a lot of misconceptions, so here are the facts:
• Head lice most commonly spread by close person-to-person contact.
• People can’t get head lice from animals, including pets.
• Children with live head lice do not need to go home early from school. They can leave at the end of the day, get treatment, and then return to classes.
• Head lice thrive in clean places. They don’t necessarily befall a child due to lack of hygiene.
To learn more about diagnosis, treatment and prevention of head lice, contact Cohen Children’s Medical Center’s Division of General Pediatrics at 516-465-4377.