Lice Prevention After Exposure

Head lice are tiny insects that can reside in human hair and feed on blood that they take from the head. If your child has been exposed to head lice, you need to act quickly in order to reduce how much the lice will affect him or her. Head lice are common in children between the ages of 3 and 12. They're found more often in girls simply because they typically have more hair.

  1. Chemical Prevention

    • If you suspect that your child has been exposed to lice, visit a doctor immediately and request that he prescribe a lice-killing lotion or shampoo. Medicated shampoos are often able to kill the lice soon after use. The best way to prevent getting lice after being exposed to them is to stop them in their tracks so they don't reproduce and become a bigger problem.

      If you've been given lice shampoo, follow the directions precisely. Because the shampoos include insecticides, using too much shampoo or using it too often can be dangerous. Also, If the shampoo is prescribed for two weeks, use it for two weeks---even if it seems like there are no lice after a few days of treatment.

    Natural Prevention

    • There are some natural cures that can help prevent the spread of lice after a child has been exposed to them. Immediately after the exposure, wet the child's hair and begin to comb through the hair with a fine-tooth comb and remove any lice manually. By getting to the lice soon and keeping them from burrowing deep in the hair, you can prevent some spreading.

      Some people use petroleum jelly, mayonnaise or olive oil to wet the hair instead of using water. Although there is no definitive proof that these substances are able to prevent lice after exposure, some believe that the chemicals in these items help suffocate the lice.

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