Lice or head lice are tiny wingless insects which infest, live, breed and feed on the human scalp. Though anyone can be prone to a head lice infection school going children are the most vulnerable. Head lice bite the scalp to get blood leading to intense itching and irritation in the scalp of your children along with visible red bumps in the scalp and on the neck area.
Head Lice in children
Lice can be very easily transmitted from one person to another, which is why it is important to treat it immediately. Anyone can pick up head lice from close proximity with a person affected with lice. Children in particular are vulnerable due to playing and spending time in close quarters of each other in parks, schools etc.
Sharing of combs, caps, hair brushes, clothing, bedding also may lead one child with a case of head lice to get others around him or her affected with the same.
First step to treatment of head lice is to detect it. A close look through your baby’s hair and scalp can help detect the lice, but they may be a bit difficult to locate as they are very quick moving. Presence of nits on the scalp can confirm the infestation of lice in your baby’s head.
Lets see what home remedies can be taken to get rid of head lice.
11 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Lice Naturally
Use distilled vinegar to rinse your baby’s hair as it is very effective in killing lice. Leave on the vinegar in his or her hair for a while and then wash off with plain water thoroughly. After rinsing apply coconut oil and thoroughly comb out the dead lice and nits. Another way to treat lice with vinegar is to mix it with mineral oil.
Adding one tablespoon of mineral oil to four tablespoons of vinegar applied on the scalp and hair and left for an hour can also help. Rinse off with plain water and next day apply vinegar and rinse your baby’s hair. Post washing remove the dead lice and nits with a finetoothed nit comb.
After this treatment shampoo your kid’s hair as usual. This remedy is especially good for children with long hair. You can also use Apple Cider Vinegar to get rid of lice and nits
It is one of the best and safest ways for treating lice infestations. Olive oil is very sticky and when applied generously to your baby’s scalp suffocates and kills the louse. To clear up a lice infestation in your baby’s head apply olive oil to his or her head in such a way that it gets completely saturated. Wait for fifteen to twenty minutes then using a nit comb comb out the nits and dead lice.
Shampoo your baby’s hair to remove the excess oil as usual. Repeat the process till you see no more nits or red bumps on your baby’s scalp and neck. Remember to wash the clothes carefully after every treatment session.
Listerine antiseptic mouthwash is also very effective in getting rid of lice and nits. Apply listerine on your baby’s scalp and hair and leave overnight. Rinse off with cold water the next morning.
Heat neem oil and massage your kid’s scalp gently. Make sure to cover the whole scalp. Remove dead lice and nits with a lice comb.
Tea Tree Oil
Make a solution of tea tree oil with water and put it in a spray bottle. Now spray the solution thoroughly throughout your baby’s scalp and hair. Cover your child’s head with a towel for fifteen to twenty minutes then wash off as usual. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your kid’s shampoo can also prevent lice infestation. Tea tree oil can also be applied after being mixed with olive oil. After application use a nit comb to thoroughly comb out the dead lice and nits. Repeat this application twice a week to get rid of lice and nits completely.
Essential Oil Mix
Prepare a mixture of essential oils by mixing 10 drops of eucalyptus oil, 20 drops of rosemary oil, 20 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of tea tree oil.
Mix these with 100 ml of vegetable oil and apply to your baby’s hair and leave for one hour. Comb out with a finetoothed nit comb to remove dead lice and nits.
The strong fragrance of garlic can suffocate lice and ultimately kill them. Grind eight to 10 garlic cloves into a paste and mix in two to three teaspoons of lime juice. Apply the mixture thoroughly onto your baby’s scalp. Leave it on for a half an hour and then rinse the hair thoroughly with hot water.
Petroleum jelly can have a stifling effect on roaming lice. Applying a thick layer of it to your baby’s scalp and cover the head tightly with a shower cap or towel before he or she goes to bed.
In the morning use baby oil to remove the jelly and comb through to remove dead lice and nits. Repeat this several nights in a row
- Use a Hair Dryer
A quick and sure shot remedy to get lice out of your children’s hair. But remember that for children especially very young toddlers extreme hot air is not advisable. Remember to do this out in the garden as you don’t want the lice spreading across the house and infecting others.
Even though the thought of applying mashed apple to your baby’s hair is quite messy it works very effectively to get rid of irritating lice infestation. So mash an apple and apply on your child’s head in such a way that it covers the hair completely. Wash his or her hair after an hour.
Apply onion juice on your baby’s scalp, leave on for 3-4 hours and remove dead lice and nits with a lice comb. Shampoo afterwards. Repeat this treatment every 3-4 days. This is one of the most effective home remedies for treating lice infestation in your child.
Remember that during the infestation as well as once it is over you need to keep your home with laborious efforts to eliminate the lice completely. Wash all the bed linens your family members were using with hot soapy water and disinfectant, vacuum all furniture and floor thoroughly.
The key is to eliminate all possible sources of recurrence of infestation.