What are Lice?
Head lice are extremely small insects that feed on human blood and can be found on the scalp, neck, eyelashes, and eyebrows. While they do not carry any diseases, they can be very annoying and uncomfortable. They can be easily spread from head-to-head contact and can survive on clothing, bedding, and brushes/combs for short periods of time. Lice can affect anyone, but is most common in young children, especially those in daycare, preschool, and elementary school. Any situation where children are in close contact with lots of other children will be a breeding ground for cases of lice.
Symptoms of Lice
The way most parents discover their children have lice is by seeing them in their child’s hair. Lice are small but can be seen by the naked eye. Combing through wet hair can help you see the lice more easily.
What to look for:
- Small brown, white, or grey bugs
- Round or oval nits (eggs) near the base of the hair on the scalp
- Lots of lice on the back of the neck or behind the ears
Children may also complain of itching which is caused by an allergic reaction to lice bites.
Treatment for Lice
When your child has lice, you need to treat it. It will not go away on its own. When you first notice the lice, you should do the following:
- Visit your doctor or local urgent care center, such as AM/PM
- Notify your child’s school. It is likely other kids have also contracted lice.
- Check the rest of your family for lice
- Treat everyone who has lice at the same time
Depending on the severity, you can start with over-the-counter treatments, such as special shampoos and rinses or the patient may need prescribed medications. Closely follow the instructions on the packaging and any advice from your doctor before applying the treatment
On top of applying the shampoo and rinse, it is suggested that you use a fine tooth comb to get rid of any lingering lice or nits. It also doesn’t hurt to apply a second treatment 10 days later.
One last thing you should do is seal any bedding and stuffed animals in plastic bags for several days. Lice need human blood to survive and will not live long without it.
Visit AM/PM Walk-In Urgent Care
If you find lice in your child’s hair, you are going to want to deal with it right away. AM/PM has offices in Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, North Bergen, Norwoord, Englewood, and Allendale. We are open until midnight and no appointment is required. Just walk right in and we’ll prescribe you the proper treatment so you can get those nasty critters out of your child’s hair.