How to Check a Child's Hair for Lice

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Check a Child's Hair for Lice
Check a Child's Hair for Lice

How to Check a Child's Hair for Lice. Symptoms of head lice include frequent head-scratching and/or the sudden appearance of dandruff-like white flecks in the hair. You may receive a note from your child's school reporting that another class member has a case of head lice. In all of these instances, you should examine your child's head for lice.

Things You'll Need

  • Latex Gloves
  • Combs
  • Flashlights
  • Hair Lice Treatments

Be sure there is adequate lighting when checking your child's head for lice. A brightly lit bathroom or a flashlight will help you spot any lice or eggs.

Begin at the nape (bottom) of the neck and work your way up. Lice and eggs can be anywhere on the head but they do prefer warmer places to hide. The lower hairline is a good place to start.

Using either your fingers or a tail comb, slowly part the hair down the middle, from the crown to the nape of the neck. Check the part for eggs on the hair shaft (small white specks attached to the hair shaft) or adult lice. The eggs will be well attached and should only be able to be removed by scraping off the hair with your finger nail.

Once the first section is checked, part the hair either to the left or right of your original part in very small sections. Check this new parting for eggs and adult lice.

Repeat this process throughout the entire back of the head, paying extra attention to the warmer spots at the nape, hairline and close to the ears.

When the entire back portion of the head is complete, part your child's hair from the crown to the front hairline and repeat the process for the front of the hair.

If lice are found on your child's head treatment must be given immediately.

Remove your child's clothing that they are wearing and all bedding on your child's bed. Wash immediately or your child will risk another exposure. All materials such as jackets, hats, scarves, pillow or blanket that your child may have come in contact with will be infested and must be washed.

Wash your hands thoroughly once the clothes are in the washer.

Go to the drug store and purchase a lice shampoo. Follow the directions given with the product.

If you have other children in the house check them for lice as well. If you suspect you may be infected have someone check you or use the lice shampoo just to be safe.

Be persistent. The treatment may have to be repeated before the lice or eggs are completely killed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a magnifying glass. It will make the lice easier to see.

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