first_imgHEALTH WATCH: DON’T BE A NITWIT- TELL THE SCHOOLNits are a part of school life whether we like it or not.One in ten children suffer from head lice at any one time, according to the Irish Pharmacy Union. If you think they suddenly disappear when young people attend secondary school- think again.Schools do their best by sending global texts to parents to remind them to check their children’s hair but if you don’t inform the school that your child has head lice then it just becomes a vicious, itchy, cycle for everyone. Every weekend for weeks.Having head lice, also called nits, doesn’t mean you’re dirty.Head lice are tiny insects that live in human hair. They’re very small (about the size of a sesame seed) and are browny-grey in colour. They have six legs, each with a claw on the end. They use these to cling on to hair, and they survive by biting the scalp and feeding on blood. This often causes itching, but not always.The female head lice lay eggs in sacs that stick to individual hairs. A baby head louse then hatches 7 to 10 days later.If your child has head lice, you might be able to spot the remains of the tiny white egg in their hair. This is called a “nit”. Some people also use the word “nit” to mean “head lice”.The baby head louse is ready to have babies of its own 10 to 14 days later.Head lice crawl from head to head when you’re close to someone who has them. Children are particularly at risk because they’re often in close contact with other children at school.Head lice can’t fly or jump, and it’s very rare to get head lice from a pillow or a towel as they can’t survive away from a human head for very long.53% of people who have them don’t itch and if your child doesn’t itch you probably don’t look. To avoid getting caught out do a weekly or fortnightly check with a nit comb so you can catch them early.If you think your child may have head lice:Check your child’s hair. The most common places for head lice to lurk are in the hair behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. If you still can’t spot any lice, comb the child’s hair with a special nit comb. These are available from most chemists. It’s easier to spot head lice as they fall out if you comb the hair over a piece of white paper.Nits are the eggs of head lice and can be hard to detect, this is what causes re-infection.Many people find that after clearing their child it’s all back three to four weeks later and this means they must have re-caught them from someone.The lice might have been removed but not all the nits and 3 to 4 weeks later those nits have hatched and matured.To break this cycle you have to keep clearing both the nits as well as the lice out of the hair, day after day. If not, the nits hatch, mature, mate, they lay eggs, those eggs mature, hatch and so on. There are multiple over-the-counter preparations available – all of which involve applying a solution to the head and washing it off. But that’s when the real hard work starts – the fine combing.Lice are killed by the treatments, but eggs can survive and later hatch, so they need to be ‘fine combed’ out.Fine combing needs to be done daily, and can be aided by using lots of conditioner to make it easier to get through the hair and get the eggs to slip off.After seven days you should treat again.DD HEALTH WATCH: DON’T BE A NITWIT – TELL THE SCHOOL was last modified: March 9th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Daily Health Watchhead licehealth advicenitslast_img