My 7-year-old daughter was at a sleepover last weekend, and now she has head lice. She has been itching her head like crazy. What is the best remedy? Should she stay home from school?
Don't be alarmed. Head lice are a common problem among school age children because they interact closely, store belongings together, and share items such as hats, brushes, and toys. Having head lice does not indicate poor hygiene habits.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP at www.aap.org) does not recommend that children with head lice stay home. However, call your school to find out their policy about head lice.
Head Lice Treatment:
1. Nonprescription lice shampoo or lotion at your local drug or department store. Follow directions carefully.
2. After shampooing, remove nits with a special nit comb to get rid of lice and eggs.
3. Wash all clothing, bedding, and stuffed animals that have been contaminated.
If your child still has lice, then see your pediatrician for other treatment options.
To date, an experimental device that has had successful clinical trials in killing head lice is not yet commercially available. The device called a LouseBuster is chemical-free, and kills the lice by using high force dry hot air. For more information on the LouseBuster, see the journal, Pediatrics, November 2006, "An Effective Nonchemical Treatment for Head Lice: A Lot of Hot Air," Vol. 118 No. 5 November 2006, pp. 1962-1970