Head lice could be ‘bugging’ your child

You get a call from the school nurse. Your child has head lice. What’s a parent to do’ “Don’t panic. Head lice infestations are not too common, but parents should keep a watchful eye on their children,” said Dr. Michael Lee, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. What to look for: ‘ Tiny white nits, or eggs, that resemble fuzzy lint balls. Attached to hair by glue-like substance, nits cannot be easily brushed or shampooed from hair. Use a special fine-tooth comb to ensure removal of all nits, or the problem can resume at hatching. ‘ Little gray or white six-legged bugs. An infestation will have fewer than 20 adult lice per child, on average, and rarely more than 100. ‘ Irritated or itchy skin, or swollen lymph nodes behind ears or on the back of the neck. Although unwelcome, lice are temporary guests. Lee says over-the-counter and prescription-shampoo/cream-rinse products are available, as is a prescription pill. And remember’infestation is purely by contact, not from poor hygiene. Daily shampooing won’t prevent or cure the problem. Uncertain parents should arrange a doctor’s examination.

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