Head Lice

How to get rid of head lice cheaply – without chemicals

A recent article in The Guardian, entitled ‘Schools braced for head lice invasion’ discussed how a change in NHS England Guidance this summer has put children at risk after GPs stop prescribing nit kits. GPs are now routinely prevented from prescribing any treatment for Head Lice. This cost-cutting measure is likely to result in a big rise in the number of head lice outbreaks this winter as not all families can afford to buy over the counter treatments which can be expensive and less effective.

The health charity Community HygieneConcern advises us to use alternative methods.

 Shampoo the hair, rinse, apply lots of conditioner and leave it in. Untangle the hair using a wide-tooth comb.

 Use a louse comb – not a nit comb – with square-edged, deeply bevelled points at the front, and flat points at the back. Hold the bevel side against the scalp. A tooth span of 4cm is suitable for children.

 Slot the teeth of the comb into a section of the hair, right at the roots. Keep in gentle contact with the scalp as long as possible and draw the comb through to the tips.

 Wipe both sides of the comb on tissue paper, checking for lice. Soaking-wet lice stay still.

 Methodically work the comb through the hair. Rinse hair and repeat combing process.

 If you find lice, repeat all five steps with the entire family.

 Wait three days, then repeat steps one to six three more times, leaving three complete days in between. This will remove any lice in the process of hatching eggs before they can spread or reproduce. If any full-grown lice are found, continue to repeat steps one to six twice a week for three more sessions from the time the lice were found.

Source: The Guardian, 29Th September 2018.

Further information:

NHS Guidance: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/head-lice-and-nits/

GOSH: https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/conditions-and-treatments/general-medical-conditions/lice

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