Pre-school children face many new challenges as they begin their first experience in a daycare. One of the risks children face includes contracting head lice which is not unusual in a group setting. Daycares in Thornhill understand that head lice are a common occurrence among young children and they take measures to ensure that they keep their facilities in the highest standards to prevent such occurrence from happening. However, as a parent or guardian you should not leave the responsibility of preventing your child from getting head lice to a daycare center. You also have a role to play to ensure that your child is well protected from contracting head lice and if they do get head lice, you should be well prepared to get rid of them.
What causes head lice?
Head lice are caused by getting into contact with a person who already has them. These creatures don’t fly or jump but they simply crawl. Children have a tendency to get into contact with each other while they are playing and that is why it is very easy for head lice to spread so fast in a daycare. Even if your child maintains high levels of hygiene, it is still possible for them to contract head lice when they get into contact with other children who are infected. Head lice feed on blood and they can affect a child’s health if they are not dealt with immediately. They cause a child to itch a lot and therefore they affect a child’s capability to concentrate which can slow down their development while in a daycare.
Initially when a child has head lice, it is not easy to tell right away since these creatures tend to hide and lay their eggs in the hair. You can tell your child has head lice when you notice the following symptoms:
- Itchy scalp: The surest way to tell your child has head lice is when you notice that they are itching a lot. The itching can become so bad to a point a child wakes up in the middle of the night.
- Scratch marks: Lice like hiding around the nape of the neck. A child infected with head lice will scratch around these areas leaving scratch marks.
- Nits: Nits tend to look a lot more like dandruff. However, the difference is that dandruff can easily flake off, but nits will stick to the hair.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is best to thoroughly check your child’s hair to confirm the presence of head lice. Once you confirm, you should take your child to a pediatrician who will instruct you on what to do next.
How to get rid of head lice
As soon as you realize that your child has head lice, you need to treat the problem as soon as possible. Treating a head lice problem requires you to be patient as there are no quick fixes. Before you start treating your child for head lice, check if any of your other kids or family members are infected too to avoid re-infecting each other. To treat head lice, start by getting over-the-counter creams and rinses and a lice comb. Creams like Permethrin are used to kill lice. However, they do not kill their eggs. That is why you need to apply this cream and then comb your child’s hair from the scalp to the ends to get rid of the nits and eggs. You need to do these for a few weeks to ensure that all lice are gone and no eggs are left in the hair.
When a daycare suspects that a child has lice and may have infected others, they tend to notify the parents to be on the lookout to avoid making the situation worse. To prevent a full-blown infestation, parents and guardians are advised to be vigilant at all times.