The Lowdown on Lice for Parents

IMG_2423 (1)Lice. I’m not a fan of bugs, particularly when they are crawling around little heads! As a nurse, I’ve seen some things, but Lice just makes my skin crawl. As parents, we are all in this together, so here are some facts and tips on how to handle Lice.

Lice is considered most common among pre-school to elementary aged kids. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are about 6-12 million cases of head lice each year in this country. One misconception is that Lice has to do with cleanliness, but in actuality, the little buggers like clean heads.

Lice can be a total nightmare to parents, but here are the basic facts…
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics: Head lice are tiny insects, about the size of a sesame seed (2–3 mm long). Their bodies are usually pale and gray. Head lice feed on tiny amounts of blood from the scalp, and if they are not on a person’s scalp, they can usually only survive about a day. They lay their eggs close to the scalp. Head lice live about 28 days. They can multiply quickly, laying up to 10 eggs a day. It only takes about 12 days for newly hatched eggs to reach adulthood. This cycle can repeat itself every three weeks if head lice are left untreated. Lice is typically passed through close person-to-person contact – making things like shared costumes, coats, and hats, or sleepovers – easy ways for kids to contract lice from a friend. I’m not going to lie, my friends. I had difficulty typing this.

Once you discover your child has Lice, the next question is – how can I get rid of it? Here are some treatment tips…
The FDA has approved over-the-counter (OTC) Lice products as safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label instructions.
To empower parents and feel confident about the OTC Lice treatment, it helps to know more about the ingredients. Permethrin, most commonly found in the OTC product Nix or Piperonyl Butoxide and Pyrethrum Extract, most commonly found in Pronto or Rid. The helpful infographic shows treatment tips specific to the products used for Lice in children. It lays out specific tips for using each OTC product, answers important questions like if hair needs to be shampooed first or if dry hair is needed, the age a child has to be for products to be used on their scalp, and if and when a second treatment is recommended.

To find more details on the ingredients in Lice treatments and products, visit:

Here are safe use tips for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Follow the directions on the package exactly as written.
  • Never let children apply the medicine. Medicine should be applied by an adult.
  • Do not use medicine on a child two years or younger without first checking with your child’s doctor.
  • Do not use or apply medicine to children if you are pregnant or breastfeeding without first checking with your doctor.
  • Always rinse the medicine off over a sink and not during a shower or bath, so the medicine doesn’t run off the head onto other areas of skin. Place your child’s head over a sink and rinse the medicine off with warm water (not hot water).
  • Never place a plastic bag on a child’s head.
  • Do not leave a child alone with medicine in his or her hair.
  • Store medicine in a locked cabinet, out of sight and reach of children.
  • Check with your child’s doctor before beginning a second or third treatment. Your child may need repeat treatment 7 to 9 or 9 to 10 days after the first treatment depending on the medicine.
  • Ask your child’s doctor if you have any questions or if treatments you have tried have not gotten rid of lice.

One last personal tip. For little girls, I’ve been told by every stylist to always put their hair up at school. It may not prevent Lice, but I’m willing to take any measure to help minimize the chances. My daughter wears pony tails, doggie ears, braids, and anything else I can creatively figure out to keep her hair up and away.


I’m proud to join the conversation and empower parents as a blogging ambassador with the CHPA (Consumer Healthcare Products Association) Educational Foundation and This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA’s) Educational Foundation in support of, all opinions are my own.

By | 2017-11-16T19:39:46+00:00 November 16th, 2017|Health|0 Comments

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