Macau Anglican College
澳 門 聖 公 會 中 學
Newsletter


Head Lice Advisory

Introduction

Hair lice are tiny six legged insects that cling to the scalp and neck and feed on human blood. Each louse is about the size of a sesame seed and has specially adapted claws that allow them to crawl and cling firmly to hair.

 

Mode of Transmission

Lice cannot fly, jump or swim, but climb through the hair holding on with the claws at the end of their legs. They are happy on any head of hair, clean/dirty, short/long, straight/curly. If all the nits are not removed they will hatch into crawling lice, generating a cycle of self-re-infestation. 

 

Prevention

To help prevent lice:

      Don't give the lice a chance to spread. Avoid putting heads together and keep long hair tied up.

      Never share a comb, brush, barrettes, or other hair accessories.

      Always use your own sleeping bag and pillow when sleeping away from home.

 

Signs & Symptoms

Lice are white and translucent. Lice eggs, called nits, are glued onto hairs near the scalp and can be even more difficult to see. Lice bites may cause itching and scratching, due to a reaction to the saliva of lice causing small, red bumps or sores.

Please note that a reliable positive or negative diagnosis can only be achieved when hair is wet and combed through with conditioner. For this reason, Clinic nurses are unable to do dry hair checks and parents will need to check their child’s hair at home.

 

Treatment

We advise the Bug Busting method which has been clinically proven to be more effective than the use of insecticide shampoos as it breaks the life cycle of the louse over a 2 week period to effectively eradicate them.

 

Method

Apply conditioner to wet hair and systematically comb through, with a special fine tooth “nit” comb, section by section, ensures all lice are combed out once they hatch. Repeating this process three more times with three whole days in between will break the life cycle of the lice.

 

Bug Busting Days *

 

Day

1*

2

3

4

5*

6

7

8

9*

10

11

12

13*

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further information can be found at http://www.chc.org/homedir/whatisbugbusting.cfm

 

Community Hygiene Concern advises:

 

False

True

Wet combing doesn't work.

      The success of wet combing depends on the choice of comb and method of use.

      Bug Busting wet combing is the only clinically evaluated method proven to work for the detection and cure of an infestation.

There is no need to check that a treatment has worked when using products which kill lice in two doses a week apart.

      The product may kill the lice but not the eggs.

      A louse may be ready to leave the head in 6 days after hatching, so always check on day 5; some eggs may hatch between doses and some on days 9, 10 and even 11, so check again on day 12.

After using a single dose product, relax, because that's the end of the infestation!

      It is particularly difficult to kill louse eggs. Always check for baby lice on day 5 and again on day 12 after using a treatment.

People who spread lice are not bothering to treat their hair.

      This is not always the case as many people are using products claimed to eradicate infestations completely, which, in fact, do not. They may spread lice unsuspectingly.

Fine tooth combing in dry hair is as good as wet combing to detect lice.

      The most reliable way to check is to wet comb because soaking wet lice stay still. In dry hair lice move quickly away from disturbance.

Itching is the first sign of lice.

      Itching may take weeks to develop after first catching lice.

      Some people never itch.

Head lice can be seen at a glance.

      Head lice are difficult to see as they usually stay close to the scalp and remain hidden.

      The best way to find lice is to use a Bug Buster comb according to the instructions.

Any fine comb will do for detecting lice.

      No, the choice of comb is crucial to success. The Bug Buster comb is unique with a deeply bevelled edge on the teeth, ideal for slipping under lice in the hair roots. It has the optimum tooth spacing to trap newly hatched lice while still allowing free movement through the hair.

      Rounded teeth on metal and other plastic combs can slip over lice leaving them undetected.

      Lice are difficult to see in metal combs and can be inadvertently combed back onto the hair.

      Many plastic combs are too flimsy and allow hair and lice through the teeth.

Head lice are the same as nits.

      Head lice are often referred to as nits, but, in fact, these are the empty eggshells which remain glued to the hair after lice have hatched.

If you have nits in your hair, you need to treat.

      No, the presence of nits does not prove that there are still lice on a head. These are the empty eggshells which remain glued to hairs after the lice have gone.

      Nits are whitish in colour and become more noticeable as the hair grows.

      Hairdressers often turn away clients with nits unnecessarily.

      If you use the square-faced Nit Buster comb in a Bug Buster Kit according to the instructions, it will remove nits painlessly.

Lice can transfer to another head soon after hatching or at any stage during their life-cycle.

      Lice will transfer to another head when full-grown, having completed their last moult. This can be 6 days or more after hatching.

      Younger lice tend to remain on the head where they have hatched.

      Full-grown lice mate. The female then begins to lay eggs glued singly to individual hairs where the warmth of the scalp will incubate them; this is often near the roots.

      The female produces an average of 56 fertile eggs after a single insemination, laying at the rate of approximately 5-6 eggs per day.

The school nurse is the best person to find head lice.

      No! Lice move swiftly in dry hair when disturbed, so light cases are missed in school nurse checks. They have not got time to do mass wet combing.

Head lice prefer clean hair.

      Head lice are happy on any head of hair, clean/dirty, short/long, straight/curly.

      They feed solely on blood by biting the scalp.

Head lice jump, fly and swim.

      Head lice cannot fly, jump or swim.

      Head lice climb through the hair. They hold on with the claws at the end of their six legs.

Disinfect clothing, cuddly toys and furnishings

and don't share hats and scarves.

      There is no need to do this as the only lice that wander or fall off the head are dying.

      On the other hand, stray hairs left in brushes and combs should be cleaned out (see below)

Ordinary combing damages/kills lice "break their legs and they won't lay eggs"

      Head lice that are caught in combs and brushes are rarely damaged. If a louse is clinging to a stray hair in a brush or comb, it can be returned to the head unhurt at a subsequent stroke.

Head lice are only found in school children.

      Head lice are a community and family problem, but about 80% of cases affect school-aged children, the 4 - 16 year olds.

To have lice in the family is a disaster.

      No! Encouraging schools to check on Bug Busting Days using our detection programme will help stop lice from circulating endlessly. Empower parents to check the whole family regularly using a Bug Buster Kit - as this is the only reliable and economical option.


HEAD LICE

 

It is very common for schoolchildren to get head lice. What can parents do that is safe and effective? The following will give you several guidelines. 

 

WHAT ARE HEAD LICE?

 

Head lice are tiny wingless insects. They are 2 to 3 mm., or less than 1/8 inch long. Head lice move quickly and are difficult to see. They live in the hair and bite the scalp to suck blood. The female attaches white eggs, perhaps 3 or more per day, to the hair. These are called nits. Unlike dandruff, they cannot be removed easily or shaken off. The nits are easier to see because they are white and more numerous. In 7-10 days they hatch into more head lice.

The back of the neck is the favorite area for lice and nits.

 

HOW DO PEOPLE GET HEAD LICE?

Head lice live only on human beings. They can be spread quickly by using the hat, comb, or brush of an infested person, or simply by close contact—sleeping in the same bed, playing with the same stuffed toy, wearing the same clothes when playing dress-up, etc. Head lice can live up to 3 days on such items.

Anyone can get lice despite good health habits and frequent bathing and hair washing. The nits (eggs) normally hatch into lice in about 1 week.

 

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Itching is the most common symptom. Often, however, there are no symptoms, especially at first, when there are just a few lice and nits. The nits (eggs), attached to the hair, can be seen on the hairs 1 cm., or ½ inch, from the scalp. These very small nits look like tiny dots, firmly attached to the hair. They may be found on hairs above the ears, around the neck, and/or at the back of the head most commonly.

 

HOW IS IT TREATED?

 

   (1) Nonprescription products can be used to kill lice and nits. Carefully follow your physician’s orders, or the instructions accompanying the product you purchased. Most products must be used on dry hair. The anti-lice shampoo should be poured into the hair. Add a little warm water to work up lather. Scrub the hair and scalp for 10 minutes, by the clock. Rinse the hair thoroughly into the sink and dry it with a towel. The shampoo will kill the nits and the lice. Repeat in 7 days.

 

  (2) Removing nits is important. To make sure the nits are dead, wait at least 8 hours after using the shampoo before removing them. The nits can be loosened using a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Apply the mixture to the hair and keep your child’s hair under a towel wrap for 30 minutes. Remove the nits by backcombing hair with a nit comb starting at the scalp, parting hair into 2cm. sections until entire head of hair has been combed.

       Hair conditioner and shampoo with hair conditioner should NOT be used before or after treating hair.

 

   (3) Clean all items that have come into contact with the head and hair. Combs and brushes should be thoroughly cleaned, for example, by washing them in water 125 degrees F. or 52 degrees C. Vacuum the furniture and carpets.

 

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP PREVENT LICE?

 

To help prevent lice, do not share personal items such as combs, brushes, hats, scarves, hair accessories and towels.

Because it is so difficult to prevent the spread of lice among school-age children, lice should not be seen as a sign of poor hygiene or failure by parents. The problem should just be dealt with in a calm, practical manner.

Because pediculiasis (head lice) has few symptoms and no direct infectious processes are known to result from an infestation, we suggest that the practice of excluding infected children from school is unwarranted following first treatment.

 

For a fun website to help children to accept head lice as an infection, just like chicken pox or the flu, let them play the games related to head lice on: www.headlice.org/kids/headgames/index.htm

Last Edit : 2015-10-08 10:54:42 By : it
Our telephone lines are (853) 2885 0000 | Fax (853) 2885 0022 | 109-117 Avenida Padre Tomas Pereira Taipa - Macau
All right reserved Macau Anglican College