Lice and babies, what to do

Source: Shutterstock

Can babies get head lice? The answer is yes. It may happen that the little brother or sister who goes to kindergarten gets lice and that pass them on to the baby.

In fact, even if the newborn is a few months old and has very little hair, the possibility that he gets lice cannot be ruled out, especially if the heads of the baby and the first born have come into contact. Let us find out more about it.

In this article

  • Lice, what are they 
  • Head lice, how to avoid infestation
  • How to eliminate them
  • Lice Treatments
  • What to do if the newborn has lice

Lice, what are they

To properly treat the lice, you need to know them. Head lice can manifest in one or more of these forms:  

  • Le louse eggs (nits) are firmly attached to the base of the hair. They may look like dandruff, but when examined with a magnifying glass, you can see that they are oval in shape and not flat.
  • The eggs hatching produce the nymphs, which go through three evolutionary stages before becoming adult. There nymph it is very small and reddish.
  • Finally, the louse adult is dark and 2-4 mm long. The adult louse lays the eggs which in turn hatch after 8-10 days reproducing the cycle. Head lice in adults can be seen moving rapidly along the hair or on the scalp.

To be sure that you have finally gotten rid of lice, you need to eliminate unwanted guests from all three non-living generations.

Read also: Head lice and pediculosis: 6 things to know

Head lice, how to avoid infestation

When there is a confirmed case of head lice in your firstborn's class, take action immediately to prevent the small parasites from spreading to other family members, including the newborn. Here are some pointers to put into practice.

  • Avoid hugs or other close contact for a while.
  • Check all the heads of babies, children and adults in your family.
  • Often, when you get the call from the school to warn you about head lice, your child has already had them for a while. The whole family may need to be treated to prevent re-infestation. Wash hats, pillowcases and similar items that have been in contact with your head in hot water in the washing machine (60 °): can help contain head lice. However, it is not necessary to disinfect the entire house, as the transmission of lice from inanimate objects is rare.
Read also: Pediculosis: everything you need to know and do if you find that your child has head lice

Lice, how to get rid of them

La removal of nits, that is the eggs, is essential for the success of the treatment to eliminate lice. First, get a fine-toothed comb and divide the older child's wet hair into small strands. Then you pass and remove the eggs. You can help yourself with some conditioner.

The most effective method of eliminating head lice is the comb that you buy at the pharmacy. In particular, a liquid conditioner must be applied to damp hair and then it is necessary to pass the special comb with fine teeth, strand by strand, from roots to ends. It is advisable to repeat the treatment every two days for a total period of 10.

Here, in particular, are some practical advice to optimize the nit removal process:

  1. Divide the wet hair into small sections.
  2. Pass the comb over the lock from the base of the hair to the tip with a single continuous gesture.
  3. Perform the same movement in the opposite direction, from the ends of the hair towards the base to eliminate any residual eggs.
  4. Clean the comb with a tissue every time the gesture is repeated.
  5. Dry your hair with a hot hair dryer, because the parasite is sensitive to heat.
Finally, head lice need a human host to survive. If the hair disappears, the lice disappear too. Cutting the older child's hair may seem like a last resort, but it's not. Read also: Nits and lice: how to recognize and eliminate them

Lice Treatments

According to the guidelines of the British "National Health Service", it is also advisable to do a prophylactic treatment in all colors sleeping with a person infested with lice. The treatment it must be done simultaneously: in fact, if the child is treated immediately, and the rest of the family instead 24 hours later, the procedure may be ineffective.

In addition, a second treatment after a week since no product is 100 percent oocide. It is also very important to eliminate the eggs with the special comb that can be purchased at the pharmacy, whose teeth must be at a distance of less than 0,3 mm. Only mechanical removal of the eggs can guarantee complete eradication.

We must not limit ourselves to treating only the person, but it is necessary to remove any eggs from clothing and furnishings that have come into contact with the head in the 48 hours preceding the discovery of the lice. So, collect everything and, as already mentioned, machine washed at 60 ° C, as louse eggs are killed by exposure to temperatures above 55 ° C for five minutes. Dry cleaning is also a good alternative. Brushes and combs also need to be washed in very hot water.

If you can't wash the items right away, you can close them in a plastic bag and leave them like this for two weeks, to make the lice die.

Finally, try to vacuum on carpets and sofas to vacuum up any hair.

Read also: Head lice in children: what they are, how to recognize them, remedies and prevention

What to do if the newborn has lice

If you notice that your baby has also got lice, before buying specific products contact your pediatrician immediately, who will suggest an appropriate treatment for the baby. 

Then avoid joining the clothes of the firstborn to those of the newborn. As anticipated, wash and disinfect the sheets and all the fabrics that come into contact with the baby's head and the rest of the family and remember to wash the combs well too.

Read also: Lice, the 20 tips to know and fight them

  • lice children
  • lice eggs
  • head lice
add a comment of Lice and babies, what to do
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.