Pediculosis in children: how to prevent head lice

Parents, especially those with children of preschool and school agemust regularly control the phenomenon pediculosis of children. Let’s talk aboutluseangreba very common condition which, although not involving the transmission of viral or bacterial diseases, is nevertheless a very severe irritation for the children involved, it must be managed properly and prevented as much as possible.

What are head lice and why do they occur in children?

Head lice, those responsible for pediculosis in children, are small white-gray parasites that live and reproduce exclusively on humans (especially on the head and hair), lay their eggs and suck their blood. They have a length that goes from 2 to 4 millimeters and are devoid of wings, they do not fly, but move thanks to the strong and crooked legs that allow them to cling to the fibers of the fabric of the garment and to hair or hair.

These insects are called mandatory parasites, as they needsettlement with another living being to be able to feed and reproduce. The lice that attack humans (and especially young children) are of three types: Pediculus capitis humanus (head lice), Pediculus corporis humanus (body or rein lice) e Phithirus publis (estimate).

Hair lice, the most common in children aged 5 to 11 years (especially girls), are mostly invisible to the naked eye and is mainly concentrated in the neck area and behind the ears. Transmission occurs through direct contact or through sharing hats, pillows and clothing as well as through sharing brushes, combs, hats and other personal belongings. Female lice lay hundreds of eggs (nits), which hatch within a week and turn into adult lice in two weeks.

It is important to point out that pediculosis in children it is not a sign of poor hygiene. In fact, there is no causal relationship between the level of personal hygiene and the level of the environments frequented (both at home and at school) and the spread of parasites.

There is also no link between lice attacking humans and lice Pet, since each animal species is affected by a particular type of lice.

Pediculosis in children: symptoms

There lus spitas well as the feces that insects release are irritating, which is why the main symptom of pediculosis in children is severe itching in the affected area of ​​the scalp.

At the same time, this irritation causes an incessant and annoying itching that instinctively leads to scratches. This behavior causing damage which in addition to aggravating the situation by increasing both irritation and itching, can cause sores on the skin that can be breeding grounds for infections of bacterial origin.

In themselves, they are lice that are responsible for pediculosis in children hard to spot both for their speed of movement than before ability to blend in with hair color. Instead, it’s easier to see egg which has an oval shape, greyish white in color and is attached to the hair.

How to prevent head lice in children?

To prevent pediculosis in children it is necessary to reduce the conditions leading to the infection as much as possible. This is done by teaching children to avoid sharing clothes and personal hygiene accessories both at school and in their homes places to share such as gyms, summer camps, oratorios, etc.

At the same time, it is helpful to continue with one regular change of clothes to stop the spread of lice. In case a child reports the presence of lice or reports pediculosis of a partner, it is important control the rest of the familynot just children.

In case of confirmation of pediculosis, it is also helpful vacuum the carpetsventilate the rooms, wash clothes, towels and sheets in the washing machine at least 60 ° (dry) and Insulate all non-washable accessories in sealed plastic containers.

Brushes, combs and objects that come in direct contact with the hair can be soaked for at least 15 minutes in a solution of water bills and detergent.

How to treat pediculosis in children?

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Prevention is important and crucial, but it does not completely rule it out either risk of infection nor a subsequent attack. If pediculosis is suspected in children, the only possible diagnosis is visual by ascertaining the presence of lice and eggs by carefully checking the skin in the red or itchy areas.

That precautions to be followed carefully primarily revolve around a thorough inspection of the baby’s head using a fine-mesh comb to check each lock of hair starting from the root and manual elimination of both lice and eggs. Then wash your hair with a specific shampoo and rinse with vinegar. After 8 days, it is helpful to inspect the clothes again and repeat the treatment.

They also exist pharmaceutical products (shampoos, creams, lotions and perishable powders) for the treatment (and not for the prevention) of pediculosis in children. Among the active substances most commonly used to treat lice infestations are Malathlonthat Dimethicon and Permethrin (the most effective).

It is also important to clarify the importance of avoiding improvised treatments based on natural substances, which in any case are ineffective. Environmental disinfection and for the determination of mode of administration and the doses of the products to be used for the treatment of pediculosis in children, it is necessary to follow the instructions of the pediatrician.

The children they can go back to school, in the nursery and playing sports according to a pediatrician’s certificate already the day after starting treatment, as they are no longer contagious. It is not necessary to cut your hair on which the treatment is based washing, combing and manual lice removal and eggs are sufficient to ensure the solution of the problem.

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