Do you have suspicions that your child has head lice? Perhaps they’ve been itching their head or complaining about a tickling feeling in their hair. Or maybe lice have been going around your child’s classroom and you’re concerned they have them, too.The good news is that checking for head lice is quick, easy and effective. In fact, you should be checking your child’s hair for lice from time to time - it’s one of the best prevention methods you have! And unlike chemical treatments, lice won’t grow resistant to wet combing.
By identifying a potential lice infestation, you can comb out the lice using a steel lice comb and stop them from multiplying. Below is your step-by-step guide for checking for head lice in the comfort of home.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
The first thing to do is gather the necessary items and supplies you’ll need to thoroughly check your child for head lice. Choose a brightly lit room and have your child sit on a chair so they are comfortable. You can even give them a book or iPad to look at to keep them busy.
The supplies to have available are:
- Magnifying glass
- Old towel
- Hair clips
- Disposable gloves
- Sealable plastic bag (in case you find a louse)
- Paper towels
- Lice comb
- Flashlight (the one on your phone is fine)
Step 2: Inspect Your Child’s HairPart your child’s hair and look closely at their scalp. This is where lice like to hang out. Then continue by dividing the hair into small sections and looking for live lice. Lice are very small - about the size of a sesame seed - but they can still be seen with the naked eye. They also move quickly in the light.
Aside from the scalp, other places to look for lice are:
- Crown of head
- Behind both ears
- Nape of neck
Step 3: Know What to Look For
Nits look like small white or yellow-brown specks and are firmly attached to the hair near the scalp. Adult lice can be tan to grayish-white in color and about the size of a poppy seed. They’re most likely to be seen crawling on the scalp where the hair is parted.
It’s possible to confuse lice with dandruff, hair spray droplets or dirt particles, so using a bright light can help. If you notice any activity, wipe the comb on a paper towel after each comb-through. Confirmed lice activity will likely require a more natural lice treatment.
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