Share some useful wellness tips.

Fool-proof Ways How to Check for Head Lice in Children

How to Check for Head Lice in Children
Head lice infestation is a common problem among children. If you think your child's hair is infested by lice, you need to check before starting any treatment.
Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
If you often find your child complaining about an itchy scalp along with a lot of irritation and discomfort, it is quite possible that he/she is suffering from lice infestation. Children tend to acquire them more than adults because they are more inclined towards bringing their heads close to each other may be, to share a secret or discuss something. Lice are grayish in color and are about 2.55 mm long. These insects transfer from one person's hair to the other by close contact. Contrary to common belief, these tiny creatures are wingless and cannot fly to reach someone's head. It is also not true that lice problem is predominant is people maintaining poor hygiene, as they can equally affect clean or unclean hair.
Doctor checking hair lice
Symptoms of Head Lice Infestation
Children with head lice are found to make the following complaints -
  • Sores on the head
  • Irritation
  • A feeling of something crawling between hair strands
  • Excessive itching
  • Rashes on the neck

Children start showing symptoms only after about two months of infestation. This is a very long time and by the time signs are visible, lice grow all over the child's hair. As soon as you observe these symptoms, it's time to get on to action. Before starting any treatment, it is important to make sure that your child is actually suffering from head lice infestation. To do so, follow the steps given below.
How to Check for Head Lice
Checking for head lice requires a lot of time and children are too impatient to sit at one place for long. To quickly do your checking, follow the instructions given below and tell them that without their cooperation, it will be difficult for you to treat their problem.
  • First of all, shampoo your child's hair with a mild shampoo and conditioner. You can either choose to check for lice in wet hair or let them dry before beginning the check. It will be easier to check for lice in wet hair for children having thick hair, as the teeth of comb can easily run through thick wet hair. If your child's hair is curly, it will be easier if you oil the hair and scalp rather than wetting it. Once you have decided on how you want your child's hair to be during checking, move on to the next step.
  • Choose a well-lit area for checking as you will need enough light to identify those tiny lice on hair. Wear gloves to avoid direct contact with the insect and choose a lice comb with fine teeth for brushing through the hair.
  • Place a white or light-colored paper on the floor or table, and ask your child to lean over it. De-tangle hair using a regular comb and then switch to a lice comb for detection.
  • Divide hair into small sections and take one section at a time. Tie rest of the hair using a bobby pin and run the lice comb through the section of the hair.
  • Check the comb for presence of living louse on it. If the infestation is too much, you can expect several lice to appear on the comb. Make sure you do not bring them close to your hair or else you will also get affected.
  • If you find lice on the comb, wash them off in the sink. Dry the comb completely before brushing it again on hair as wet comb may not get hold of lice properly.
  • Once the examination of a section is complete, pin it up using a bobby pin and move on to next section of hair. Treat this section similarly and repeat the same procedure till you check the hair completely.
  • After removing live lice, you should also check for and remove their eggs. Lice eggs take around 6-8 days to hatch, so it is better to get rid of them also.
  • Once the checking is done, wash your hands with a disinfectant. Repeat the procedure every 15 days till your child's hair is completely free from lice.
Head lice in children is a matter of concern as it distracts the child creating great discomfort. Therefore, it is essential that mommies look for signs in their children so that they can help their child get rid of them easily.