Nits and Head Lice
No need to scratch your head over head lice. In fact scratching your head will make the problem worse. These little critters, which live in the hair and leave behind their eggs, which are called nits, are very common in kids under 11, and they are very easily treated.
Lice are tiny insects, just a couple of millimetres long. They have no wings so they cannot fly, they cannot jump from head to head, and you can’t catch them from sharing hats or pillows. The only way to catch lice is through your child’s hair touching the hair of someone who already has them. It takes about half a minute for lice to transfer themselves from one head to another, and it’s not true that lice only like dirty (or long) hair either. Lice can make their home on absolutely anyone, and it might be up to three months before you notice them.
Once the lice get into the hair, they start to feed off the scalp. After a week or 10 days they start to lay eggs, and 10 days after that the eggs will hatch, giving birth to new lice. There might be up to a dozen living on your child’s bonce at any one time. Nits are the empty eggs which cling to the hair and which, without special treatment, are difficult to remove. Nits look like dandruff, but can’t be combed out. Ordinary shampoo won’t get rid of the problem either. For most people, the only symptom of lice or nits is an itchy head.
If your child’s hair comes into contact with the hair of someone who has lice, there’s not much you can do to stop the lice spreading. Fortunately, for such a common problem, detection and treatment is very easy. If you think your child has lice, wash their hair normally and then check it very closely with a fine-toothed comb. Then you’ll need to use a special insecticide shampoo or bug-busting kit, which you can get from any chemist. This will kill the lice, but nits – the eggs – can sometimes remain. After treatment for lice though, nits can be combed out and eventually they’ll fall out of your hair by themselves.
For more facts, photos and info on nits and headlice, checkout the website hairnits
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