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Back to School

01 February 2016 Blog
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BACK TO SCHOOL!

 

SUMMER IS OVER.........  AUTUMN ON  THE DOOR STEP..........AND KIDS BACK TO SCHOOL.

Soon they will be bring notes from school administration about head lice and nits (eggs) infestation.

Reading the note, send shivers running down your spine and immediately itching sensation is felt over your body.

Immediately our brain starts thinking of preventing the infestation in our family.  Over the counter products including rosemary, lemon grass, tea tree, citronella and ecucalyptus oils  may repel lice, though some studies conclude that  there’s still a long way to scientifically  prove that these products repel lice.

The first precaution is to check the child’s hair looking for nits, tiny white dots, cemented to the hair shaft about 2/3 millimetres away from the scalp. There common nests are behind the ears following a pattern to the middle of the nape area, centre of the neck. These need to be removed manually as no comb will do being so minute and glued to the hair.  Finding nits means the presence of lice. 

 Explain to the child not to share personal belongings such as hair ornaments clips, combs or brushes etc.   Ask your child to avoid games and activities that may lead to head-to-head contact with class mates or other friends.  Adults who work with children are also advised to follow the same principle.

Lice scientifically known as Pediculus Capitis  are tiny parasites with 6 legs, which become the size of a sesame seed when grown, and very difficult to identify because they can be any colour from white to tan to brown. These tiny parasites live on their hosts (human) blood.  This is why children having lice experience an itching sensation.  When the lice nourishes itself from the host blood, secretes saliva which  cause an allergic  reaction to the child. 

The most affective treatments to kill lice contains a very low percentage of insecticide.  This is why precautions need to be taken which are also indicated on  the manufacturers instructions how to use pre treatments and shampoos. Most important is to use the pre treatment in an airy room or in open air.  Be very careful when treating asmathic children, as there are specific treatments for such cases.  It is most advisable to relate the whole situation to the pharmacist when buying the treatment.

The pre shampoo treatment is the most effective as within 2 hours the parasites are killed but some of the eggs which are laid and secured into a cocoon, the nature’s protection for the nits.  It is ideal to distribute evenly but not excessive.  Generally these treatments are in a spray bottle. This is very easy to distribute evenly on the head, following an orange segment pattern to reach the whole head.  Leave the treatment for 2 hours and then shampoo with the appropriate shampoo for 3 times  leaving the last wash for a few minutes and then rinse thoroughly.  Use a good moisturising conditioner, as anti lice shampoos are slightly alkaline having a high ph which leaves the hair tangled.  Leave the conditioner for a couple of minutes and rinse again.  Towel dry and keep wrapped for a few minutes. Now comb through hair and sterilize the tools used. It is most recommended to section hair with a central parting  from fringe to nape and starting from the back, take 1cm section and comb the hair now with a special very close toothed comb to remove any  lice.

Mark the date of the first treatment on your calendar, so as to repeat  after 6 days.  The pre treatment may not have reached the eggs which are naturally secured by their cocoon shell. So this is the time when nits hatch and a new louse will again infest the whole head when reaching their full growth cycle laying 4 to 6 eggs a day. This vicious cycle can be only eridictated by repeating the  pre treatment every 6 days for a 30 day cycle which is the lifespan of a louse.

If any of the readers need clarification, do not hesitate to contact us on 2166 3241 or 7966 3241.

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