A  A  A   Print
Back-to-School Prep Includes Lice Review

Back-to-School Prep Includes Lice Review

FRIDAY, Aug. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the new school year here, parents need to think about how to deal with head lice, an expert says.

The first sign of head lice may be excessive itching on the nape of the neck and behind the ears, said D'Ann Somerall, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing.

All children with lice and their bedmates should be treated at the same time. If lice are still present after treatment with over-the-counter products, parents should contact their health care provider, she said.

Before using any over-the-counter lice treatments on children age 2 and younger, parents should talk with their pediatrician, Somerall advised.

Home remedies -- such as putting mayonnaise, vinegar or petroleum jelly in the hair and covering it with a shower cap -- aren't effective, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Use a lice comb on your child's hair, even after you get rid of the lice, Somerall advised.

"It's best to use a metal comb instead of a plastic one," she said. "Remember that lice infestation can be an ongoing battle, especially in group settings. There's no doubt that they can be hard bugs to get rid of, so being persistent and following the directions of the medications used to treat your child's hair is key."

If you suspect your child has head lice, check with the school nurse or child care director to see if other children have recently been treated for lice. If you confirm that your child does have head lice, alert school or child care center staff.

A major misconception is that head lice affect only disadvantaged children.

"It has nothing to do with how clean or dirty your home or school may be, or how clean or dirty your kids may be," Somerall said. "Affluent schools, rural schools, urban schools -- anyone from any socioeconomic background can get head lice, no matter how clean their hair or home."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about head lice.

SOURCE: University of Alabama at Birmingham, news release, Aug. 6, 2014

 

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.