How to get rid of nits
By Penny Flanagan |
How to comb out nits on Kidspot

 

If your child is in primary school, then your child will at some point, come home with nits.  It's just a fact of school life.  And while there are many commercial products that claim to "kill" lice and their eggs, any experienced nit hunter (ie: any mother of a primary school girl) will tell you to put your wallet back in your pocket because there's only one way to get rid of the blighters. 

So how do you get rid of nits?

Three words: Comb. Them. Out.

That's right, getting rid of nits is simply a matter of physically removing them from your child's hair. 

So if you're going to throw money at the problem, invest in a good quality nit comb.

 

But before we get to the best comb-out method, you need to understand a few things about nits and lice so that you can do the job properly.

  • Lice are the live insects, they move around.
  • Nits are the eggs that the lice lay. They don't move, but when they hatch, they release a live insect.

 

Here's a picture of nits and lice (the lice are the bugs, the nits are the small oval things.)

 

  • Nits (the eggs) need warmth, so you'll find them hanging out about 0.5cm from the scalp.  Around the scalp, you'll find them at the nape of the neck and around the ears, because that's where the scalp is warmest.
  • Lice cement the egg sac to the hair shaft. Which is why you need a nit comb to remove them; they stick to the hair and need to be pushed off with a very fine-toothed comb.
  • If the nit is white, it has hatched and is empty. If it is light brown, it has an insect inside it ready to hatch.
  • The life cycle of a louse is seven to eight days.  So you need to repeat the whole combing out process a week later, to be sure you got them all (in case you missed a few eggs and they have since hatched.)

So now we're clear on a few facts, here's the most effective way to get rid of nits and lice without using chemicals.

1. Cover your child's hair with conditioner. This just makes it easier to comb through every strand. And, assuming the conditioner is white, it also makes the lice easier to see on the comb.

2. Work in sections.  Start on one side of the head, around the ear, section off a portion of hair that will fit through the comb all at once.

3. Comb slowly from the scalp right to the end. If your child has lice or nits, you'll see them appear on the comb.

4. Use a tissue to clean out the comb before you go in again.

5. Comb the same section again until the nit comb comes up clean.

6. Now move to the next section.

7. Keep going until you have combed through all of your child's hair.

Next you need to:

  • Treat the entire family. Comb everyone's hair out.
  • Wash all pillows and bedding.
  • Clean your nit comb (soak it in vinegar or boil it for 10 minutes)
  • Repeat the whole process a week later.

Some mothers claim that maintaining constant vigilance - ie: a weekly comb-out ritual - is the only way to control the inevitable nit infestations that come along with primary school life.

If you're still not sure, watch the video to see how to comb nits and lice out of your child's hair.

Connect with Kidspot:
 

101+ cool school ideas

  1. Fundraising ideas
  2. Lunch snacks from scratch
  3. Healthy lunch box recipes they'll eat
  4. Sanity savers
  5. 10 things teachers wish you knew
  6. Celebrity chef lunch box ideas
  7. School book covers
  8. All school supplies
  9. Head lice solutions
  10. 5 ways to keep school kids organised
  11. Tools for back to school
  12. Sandwich-free lunch box ideas
  13. The on time school morning routine
  14. The school shoe checklist
  15. Breakfast and school
  16. How to buy a perfect school bag
  17. Savoury lunch box snacks
  18. Kids' breakfast ideas
  19. 10 tips for buying school shoes
  20. Is your child gifted and talented?
  21. Communicating problems to school
  22. Best school breakfast recipes
  23. Goal setting for the new school year
  24. Homework tips
  25. Preparing for the first day of school
  26. Teach your child to tie shoe laces
  27. Fun spelling games
  28. Making friends at school
  29. The great homework debate
  30. School readiness
  31. Muesli bars and lunch box snacks
  32. Peer pressure at school
  33. 12 tips for a better school year
  34. Vegetarian lunch box ideas
  35. Best breakfast ideas
  36. Care for school shoes so they last
  37. Teasing vs bullying
  38. Cures for school clutter
  39. Healthy lunch box ideas
  40. Breakfast nutrition
  41. Cost of private tuition
  42. Could my child have ADHD?
  43. Organising home life for school
  44. Preparing for school
  45. Lunch box safety
  46. The importance of breakfast
  47. Maths flash cards
  48. Solving school problems
  49. Back to school organisation
  50. When should my child start school
  51. Nutritious lunch boxes
  52. Breakfast and school
  53. Caring for kids feet
  54. Helping your child to make friends at school
  55. Starting high school
  56. Find a sport for your child
  57. Back to school routines
  58. School bullying solutions
  59. Healthy food pyramid
  60. All about school shoes
  61. Tempting fussy eaters
  62. Your child's school teacher
  63. Back to school accessories
  64. Top breakfast ideas
  65. Does my child have feet problems?
  66. Secrets of buying back to school supplies
  67. The 6-point school shoe check
  68. Inspired lunch box ideas
  69. Labels and bag tags
  70. Lacing techniques for school shoes
  71. All breakfast recipes
  72. Tips for packed lunches
  73. School communication
  74. Easy organisation tips
  75. 10 ways to save on back-to-school
  76. Healthy start
  77. School and separation anxiety
  78. Making your own bread for school lunches
  79. 5 tips for buying a school bag
  80. Feeding school-aged children
  81. When independent reading begins
  82. Lunch boxes
  83. Understanding school life
  84. School clutter solutions
  85. 5 tips for buying a school bag
  86. Fibre facts
  87. Is your child ready to start school
  88. Back to school supplies
  89. Best back to school lunch box recipes
  90. Improve your child's school success
  91. 9 tips to help kids prepare for tests
  92. Healthy snack ideas
  93. Saving money on schooling
  94. Tips for fussy eaters
  95. Best school bags
  96. Fitting school shoes
  97. School lunches
  98. School term and holiday calendar
  99. Free printable name and book labels
  100. Top technology for school
  101. School shoe size guide
  102. All about breakfast
  103. Healthy lunchbox ideas
  104. Organising school life
  105. Hungry minds
  106. 10 top lunch box ideas
  107. Learning to read and write

CATCH UP

what's new on kidspot