Lice cannot survive off the head of a human for long, so it’s important to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Thankfully, there are effective treatments for head lice that you can use. One of the first things you can do is wash your child’s clothes in hot water and then dry them on high heat. You can also vacuum the carpet to prevent lice from hiding in it. If you suspect that your child has head lice, you should notify their child care provider, preschool, or school and have them stay home until they’ve been treated.
A lice treatment that is FDA-approved is available without a prescription. It contains pyrethrum, a naturally occurring extract of the chrysanthemum flower. Another treatment that uses permethrin, a synthetic compound similar to pyrethrin, is available over-the-counter. There are also many home remedies available for lice treatment. Some adults swear by smothering lice with vinegar or mayonnaise. However, these home remedies are not scientifically proven to work.
In most cases, lice treatments do not cause long-term health risks. If you notice that your child has lice, you should treat them as soon as possible to avoid spreading the parasite. It is not necessary to keep your child home, but you should ensure that they are treated before the next day of school. You should also make sure to check your child’s hair weekly to be sure it doesn’t have any lice.