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Creepy Crawlies

Now that the children have gone back to school, its not going to be long before one of their classmates gets nits. With autumn on its way, its also not going to be long before we start thinking about putting the central heating on, which will only help insects such as fleas from pets to stay alive for longer, what can you do?

Lets start by dispelling some common myths about nits. Nits travel by walking from head to head, they cannot jump. So your childs head needs to touch another child who already has them. Talk to your children, and warn them about how they can catch nits!

Nits only like clean hair. This is false. Clean hair is actually more slippery, therefore harder for the nits to grip. But they aren't fussy, as long as there is hair on the head, they are happy with any unsuspecting host!

Nits are not particular about whether their host has long or short hair either, so if your child has short hair then they are just as likely to catch them, it is simply whether they have the direct head contact with a carrier of nits.

Another thing to be aware of, is your child can have the nits long before their head starts itching. Head lice lay eggs, and the glue used to attach the eggs to the hair shaft, which cause itching, or the lice feeding.

So what can you do?

Enforce a daily routine of looking after your children's hair, It may feel time consuming, but if if it prevents nits it will save you time in the long term. Also if you comb your children's hair daily, you will be quicker to notice any abnormalities, For children with long hair, make sure it is thoroughly brushed at least once a day to prevent matts and knots building up. By doing this, your children will not dread having their hair brushed, as it will never get to the point of being unmanageable, Ultimately, it is very unlikely that your child will never catch nits, but noticing them early, will make getting rid of them a lot easier, as you can get rid of live nits before they lay any eggs.

How to deal with an infestation?

Treat your childs hair with a nit treatment from a chemist. This will kill any live lice. It is vital you comb your childs hair nightly, with a fine tooth nit comb, on wet hair, covered in conditioner for two weeks after. This will get rid of any eggs. If you fail to do this, you will be at square one again, as in a few days, more nits will hatch. Don't forget to treat ALL members of your family, to successfully break the cycle, Wash bedding and dressing gowns. Lastly, don't be embarrassed, it is a normal part of your children interacting at school. Be thoughtful and warn other parents to help them ensure their children do not have them too!

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