What are head lice?
Head lice are tiny, wingless, insects which live and breed in human hair. They move quickly when you part the hair and are hard to see.
The eggs are half the size of a pinhead, grey to brown in colour and are glued firmly to the hair. Newly laid eggs are very close to the scalp. The warmth at the scalp will hatch the eggs in about 7 to 10 days.
What should I do if I discover lice?
Talk to a pharmacist. Ask for a product that kills head lice and their eggs. Make sure to ask about any special precautions to take while using the product. Some products may not be recommended for young children, people with certain allergies, or pregnant/nursing mothers. Check with your doctor regarding treatment for the following:
1) Children under the age of two
2) Persons with a seizure disorder
3) Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
4) Lice are discovered on eyebrows, eyelashes or beard
5) The skin of the scalp is broken or infected
Only treat family members who have head lice.
Follow the product directions exactly. Never use these products on a daily basis.
Wear plastic or rubber gloves when using the product so you won't expose your hands to the chemical for too long. Wash your hands well, immediately after using the head lice product.
Hold a towel tightly over the eyes to protect them from the product during treatment.
Rinse hair under the tap instead of in the shower or tub to limit skin exposure and to prevent swallowing some of the product.
Store any unused products out of the reach of children
What else should I do?
Tell the school or child care centre.
Tell anyone who has had close contact with the person in your family who has lice.
Ask the school or child care centre about the procedure for re-entry.
Continue to check your child's head once a week, after school breaks, sleepovers and vacations.