Education

School bugs

HEAD LICE

The first signs your child has head lice will be an itchiness behind their ears and at the base of their scalp. Poor hygiene has nothing to do with catching head lice. Lice spread because heads come into contact, which is more common in the younger years as the little ones sit so close to one another.

Head lice are about the size of a sesame seed, have six legs, and are grey-white in colour. The lice use their claws to swing between hair shafts. They lay their eggs, called nits, on the hair shaft, attaching themselves firmly with a glue-like substance. The eggs look like tiny grains of sand. Clean hair makes it easier for the lice to jump heads.

The life cycle of an egg is seven days so it’s important to do a follow up treatment a week later.

There are many natural over the counter treatments that are kind to little scalps, and are not so smelly they’ll give you away as having just done a nit treatment on yourself when you arrive at the office the next day.

Homemade remedies are proving to be more successful than the as studies show that the lice and nits are becoming immune to the chemicals found in the commercial products.

The White Conditioner Treatment

Regular combing is the key to keeping lice under control. Apply a thick, white conditioner (it makes it easier to see the nits and lice against white) and using a nit comb, section the hair and carefully comb, wiping each comb-full of conditioner, nits and lice onto a paper towel. Keep combing until you can’t see any more eggs or lice in the conditioner. Repeat after seven days.

Vinegar

Thoroughly douse your child’s hair with vinegar and leave for 15 minutes to allow the vinegar to kill the lice. Apply the white conditioner treatment.

Hair spray/Hair gel

During an infestation of nits, spray your child’s hair with hairspray, or comb through hair gel to make it more difficult for the lice to attach to their hair shafts.

WORMS

Threadworms are the most common worm found in children, appearing as fine thread-like pieces in a child’s faeces or fine white specks on their bedclothes and bottom. Itchiness around the anus, loss of appetite and sleeplessness are the main symptoms. Treat the whole family at the same time with a de-worming product from the chemist. Avoid sharing towels, encourage morning showers, clean bed linen and sleep wear regularly. And remember to wash fingers and nails after each visit to the toilet and before all meals.