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How to treat head lice

Detection combing - how to do it

You need:

plastic detection comb (from the chemist)
good lighting
ordinary comb
Wash the hair well then dry it with a towel. The hair should be damp, not dripping. Make sure there is good light. Daylight is best.

Comb the hair with an ordinary comb.

Start with the teeth of the detection comb touching the skin of the scalp at the top of the head. Draw the comb carefully towards the edge of the hair.

Look carefully at the teeth of the comb in good light.

Do this over and over again from the top of the head to the edge of the hair in all directions, working round the head.

Do this for several minutes. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to do it properly for each head.

if there are head lice, you will find one or more lice on the teeth of the comb.

Head lice are little insects with moving legs. They are often not much bigger than a pinhead, but may be as big as a sesame seed (the seeds on burger buns).

Clean the comb under the tap. A nailbrush helps to do this.

If you need help and advice, ask your local chemist, health visitor, school health adviser, or family doctor.

Don't treat unless you are sure that you have found a living, moving louse.

Head lice - How to treat them

If you are sure you have found a living louse:

Check the heads of all the people in your home.

Only treat those who have living, moving lice.

Treat them all at the same time with a head louse lotion (not shampoo). NOTE: Hair care products such as perming lotions and dyes do not get rid of head lice.

Ask your local chemist, school health dviser/school nurse, health visitor or family doctor which lotion to use, and how long to leave it on.

Put the lotion on to dry non-conditioned hair.

Use the lotion in a well ventilated room or in the open air.

Part the hair near the top of the head, put a few drops on to the scalp and rub it in. Part the hair a bit further down the scalp and do the same again. Do this over and over again until the whole scalp is wet.

You don't need to put lotion down long hair any further than where you would put a pony-tail band.

Use enough lotion - at least one small bottle for each head, more if the hair is thick. Use all the lotion up.

Keep the lotion out of the eyes and off the face. One way is to hold a cloth over the face.

Let the lotion dry on the hair. Some lotions can catch fire, so keep well away from

flames, cigarettes, stoves, and other sources of heat. Don't use a hair dryer.

Treat all of them again seven days later in the same way with the same iotion.

Check all the heads a day or two after the second treatment. If you still find living, moving lice, ask your local chemist, health visitor school health adviser, or family doctor for advice.


Don't treat unless you are sure you have found a living, moving louse.
Don't ever use head louse lotions on your family "just in case". It's never a good idea to use chemicals if they aren't really needed.


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