Head lice in the cap time - don't panic!

A sigh can be heard when the "lice alarm" is sounded in kindergarten or at school - during the time of the hats. For all parents it means: examine their children's heads and act in case of lice infestation. Because if only one child continues to come into contact with lice, the effort of the other parents is in vain and the plague starts all over again.

Head lice climb from a hair to a hair, they cannot fly or jump. Direct physical contact, which is not uncommon in children, is important for transmission. Smaller children stick their heads together much more than adults, for example, when playing or learning. The length of the hair does not play a role in lice, nor does a pet.

Head louse is a parasite that lasts for about four weeks and feeds on blood. If he does not suck blood, he dies after two to three days at the latest. That's why the louse sticks so to her hair: she clutches herself with grapple hooks to prevent slippage, because after all it's about her survival. Head lice may not be dangerous, but they are bothersome. They reach the human blood with a piercing sucking trunk. The bite is not noticeable and transmits none illnesses, but causes unpleasant itching. A female louse can lay up to ten eggs a day. The eggs stick it close to the scalp to the hair. These white, scale-like, sticky shells of the egg are called nits. They are found behind the ears, in the neck and at the temples. It takes seven to ten days for the larva to hatch out of the egg and again until it is an adult and mature.

If you have noticed any nits or lice in your child, you will have to buy over-the-counter remedies in the pharmacy at short notice. The funds must be paid out of your own pocket unless the pediatrician prescribes them. The classical drug contains a lice neurotoxin with the active ingredient pyrethrum, also known as permethrin or allethrin. However, the lice become insensitive to it. New and non-toxic lice contain silicone oil Dimeticon. This penetrates into the apertures of the lice and leads to suffocation. The following applies to all remedies: the treatment must be repeated after eight to ten days to eliminate the hatched offspring! As not all eggs are often killed by lice, multiple additional "wet combing" is indispensable: Foam the wet hair with a conditioner so that the hair becomes smooth. Comb a strand by a strand with a fine-toothed nit comb - the distance between the tines is only 0.2 millimetres. If you clean the comb with a white cloth after every stroke, you will recognize combed lice. This method is therefore also suitable for control. Siblings living in the same household should also undergo the procedure. After each treatment, place the combs and brushes in hot water for ten minutes after each treatment and then clean them.

Studies have shown that there are no lice on towels, body and bed linen. Many parents feel more comfortable when they wash their clothes at 60 degrees Celsius and store cuddly toys, for example, in a plastic bag in the freezer for two to three days. Disinfectants and insecticides are unnecessary. Intensive vacuum cleaning of the apartment and the car is unnecessary. Because the probability of a louse falling from a hair is low.

If your child has lice, inform teachers, educators and your immediate environment so that other parents are warned. This does not have to be embarrassing for anyone because head lice are not the result of poor hygiene and occur in all social classes. 85% of all children will be affected by head lice.

Your child may return to school or kindergarten the day after the treatment begins. It is sufficient if you confirm in writing to the teachers or supervisors you have started the treatment. Some schools and kindergartens require a certificate that certifies the treatment by the doctor.


Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany

Text: Dr. Beatrice Wagner, Editorial Office: Birgit Kahl-Ruether