There are several types of lice treatments available, and some are safe to use on children. These treatments are based on malathion lotion, which kills lice and nits when applied correctly. Malathion lotion is available for both adults and children, and should be applied to dry hair and rinsed out after 8 to 12 hours. If lice are still present after a week or two of application, a second treatment should be applied.
Some head lice treatments contain pyrethrin or permethrin, which are effective against live bugs. The problem is that these treatments may not work as well if lice have become resistant. If you’re unsure whether the treatment is effective, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist. For best results, you should use a prescription treatment.
Another type of head lice treatment is noninsecticidal. Noninsecticidal products approved by Health Canada since 2008 are available over the counter. Some of these products contain pyrethrins, permethrin, and malathion. Crotmiton is not available in Canada and cannot be used on children.
Natural treatments can also be used. Some of these treatments are formulated for children. However, they can be less effective for babies. Some natural treatments include applying a substance to the scalp. Popular choices include mayonnaise, olive oil, and Vaseline. They are usually applied overnight or under a shower cap. These treatments can be messy.