Head Lice Recommendations for Parents
It is prudent to teach children to not share personal items, such as combs, brushes, and hats, scarves, hair ties, etc.
Infested children should be treated promptly.
Never initiate treatment unless there is a clear diagnosis with live lice.
Over-the-counter preparations remain the first line of choice for pediculosis (head lice) treatment.
All pediculosis treatment medications MUST be used according to labeled directions.
Because none of the pediculicides are 100% ovicidal, nits (especially the ones within 1/2 inch of the scalp) should be removed manually after treatment with any product.
Nit removal can be difficult and tedious. Best results are obtained using “fine toothed” nit combs and on wet hair after treatment.
A child’s hair should be checked daily for about 2 weeks.
Experts recommend referral to a health care provider after 2 treatment failures.
The safety and efficacy of alternative approaches to treating pediculosis; i.e., herbal products, oils, mayonnaise, butter, blow dryers, hot irons, gasoline/kerosine are currently not regulated by the FDA and some can pose a safety risk. The efficacy of vinegar, WD-40, acetone, bleach, vodka, etc. have proven to be ineffective in loosening nits from the hair shaft and may even interfere with the residual activity of permethrin.
Parents are encouraged to check their children’s head for lice regularly.