So you survived the school year lice-free? Don’t let your guard down over the summer. Camp and other summer-time activities can spread lice.
When it comes to getting rid of lice, skip the chemical products. The active ingredients in both Rid and Nix can cause painful side effects including itchy and inflamed skin, chemical burns, and even difficulty breathing. What’s more, research suggests that lice are increasingly resistant to the chemicals in these products.
Physically combing out the bugs and their eggs is safer and more effective than chemical treatments.
Here’s how to do it.
Coat the hair and scalp with a conditioner. With a wide tooth comb, separate the hair into smaller sections. Then run a metal nit comb through each smaller section. Lice prefer to live and lay their eggs very close to the scalp, so when you do your comb-out, that’s the area you want to focus on.
After you comb through, wipe the comb on a paper towel and look for lice. When you’re finished with the whole head, wash the combs in very hot, soapy water and throw the used paper towels in a resealable plastic bag to throw away.
Continue the comb-outs every day until no more live lice are seen. Then, every few days for about a month
Lice can’t live off of your head for too long, so you don’t have to go crazy with the housecleaning. What you want to do is focus on the items that have come into direct contact with your child’s head over just the past few days.
Concentrate on cleaning the most important items. Soak your combs and brushes in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Bag up anything that can’t be washed like stuffed animals and pillows for two weeks. Be sure to wash recently worn clothing and bedding and dry on high heat.
Finally, be sure to check and treat everyone in your family so you don’t keep passing it around.
All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.