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Head lice

Head louse
Head louse
flickr.com/creativecommons/EranFinkle

Just the thought of lice makes people's heads itch. It has been feeding off the human head for centuries and will continue to do so for centuries more.

You can do everything in your power to help prevent the nasty little bugs, but chances are your child may still get them eventually. According to the Children's Hospital in Denver, having your child avoid head-to-head contact and making them promise not to share personal items of any kind, ESPECIALLY those dealing with hair (e.g. barettes, hair ties, bandanas, hats, brushes etc.) should help prevent the spread of the highly contagious pests.

If your child is like most, however, promises not to share these things don't hold very well when a playmate is in desperate need (and for some reason it does tend to be a crisis for them) of the headband that your child is wearing or the brush that only your child has.

When your child does get lice, you have a number of options. You need to treat, obviously, but how do you make sure they are really gone?

Follow up, follow up, follow up.

Thoroughly clean anything that may have come into contact with the child's head. This pretty much means everything in the house. Vacuum all carpets, mop all floors, wash all bedding in HOT water and throw all pillows and stuffed animals in the dryer on HOT for at least 20 minutes. Lice don't like heat.

Recheck your child's head every couple of day for awhile to make sure they aren't coming back. Retreat as needed but be sure not to use a chemical shampoo more often than is recommended.

It's a painful process but soon your family will be bug free once again! And after a bout with nit removal, your child may be more likely to keep her promise!

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