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Head Lice

In Pediatric

Head Lice

 

You think your child has head lice? Don’t panic!

Head lice are tiny insects that live on the scalp where they lay their eggs. They do not carry disease and they are not a sign that your child’s hair is dirty. Head lice spread very easily by close hair-to-hair contact and sharing things such as hats, baseball caps, hair barrettes, clips, ponytail holders and elastics, hairbrushes, combs and headphones. They cannot fly, but they do crawl very quickly.

 

Itchy? 

If your child is scratching their head, it could very well be the first signs of an infestation, but itchiness is not always present. If you think your child has head lice, check their scalp immediately. Look for lice and for nits (the tiny eggs stuck to strands of hair). If you don’t find anything, check your child a week later.

 

Tips on how to check for lice

  • You need bright light when checking for lice.
  • Use a lice comb
  • Lice are usually found very close to the scalp, especially at the neck and around the ears.
  • Separate hair into small sections and move from one section to another to look for nits.

 

Treating head lice

In Canada, you can treat head lice with various treatments including specific shampoos (lien vers produit). Most are available without a prescription. Your pharmacist can help you choose the most appropriate product for your child.

  • Always follow package directions.
  • Don’t leave the product on the scalp for longer than recommended in directions.
  • Rinse hair thoroughly and avoid getting the product on other parts of the body, which is easier to do in the sink.
  • Repeat the treatment after 7 to 10 days.
  • Check other members of the family for lice, but only treat those who have them.
  • To rid hats and pillowcases of lice, wash items in boiling water and dry in a hot dryer for at least 15 minutes OR store the items in an airtight plastic bag for two weeks.

If your child is under 2, you should not use medicated treatments. You will have to remove the lice and nits by hand. 

To download the PDF brochure, click here

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