Treating Your Child’s Nits

Head lice are, sadly, one of those unfortunate inevitabilities of childhood and parenting. We all get them sometime as children, and so do our kids, as they spread rapidly at nurseries and schools and can be tricky to get rid of. Tackle them quickly and efficiently to make sure the nasty little nits are gone for good in no time.


How do I know it’s nits?

Many parents are alerted to the presence of these little critters by a notice from school informing them that they’ve appeared on children in the classroom. You should then check your child as quickly as possible by combing through their hair and wiping off onto a piece of white tissue. You’re not after fluff or dandruff, but actual moving dark insects, or clearer white eggs. Your child may also complain of itching or irritation on their head, which can be an obvious indicator of nits, so watch out for scratching.


Treatment options


1)   Non-chemical treatments


If you’ve got the patience for it, most doctors recommend spending a long time combing through the hair and removing the lice and nits yourself rather than using pharmaceutical treatments for head lice. Simply wash your child’s hair and then put lots of conditioner in to detangle. Use a special nit comb and work through the hair in sections searching for signs of life. This will take a while and there may be some complaints, but it’s the most effective and safest way of treating nits. Repeat this several times until you find nothing.

2)   Chemical treatments


If wet combing doesn’t do the trick and all else fails, ask your pharmacist or doctor about medicated treatments to kill off the lice. Follow their instructions carefully and be wary of over-using topical lotions.

Preventing nits

There’s not a whole lot you can do to stop your child catching head lice after you’ve got rid of them the first time, except to be extra cautious about looking for early signs of re-infestation. Check regularly to keep an eye on your child’s hair, and tie back long hair to avoid them catching it easily from friends at school.


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