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Head lice Advice for children and parents. 2 Outline  It’s a myth  What are head lice?  What are nits?  How do we get head lice?  How do I know if.

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Presentation on theme: "Head lice Advice for children and parents. 2 Outline  It’s a myth  What are head lice?  What are nits?  How do we get head lice?  How do I know if."— Presentation transcript:

1 Head lice Advice for children and parents

2 2 Outline  It’s a myth  What are head lice?  What are nits?  How do we get head lice?  How do I know if I have head lice?  Detection combing: how to do it?  If head lice are found, what do I have to do?  How can we prevent head lice?  The main points revised

3 3 It’s a myth Head lice aren’t found only in dirty hair !  Head lice like all the heads with hair: dirty or clean, brown, fair or russet-red hair, long or short Having head lice isn’t a disease !  It’s a normal infection which can be treated  Head lice are parasites which need human heads to live  Head lice don’t transmit any diseases

4 What are head lice ?

5 5 The Pediculus capitis: Is an insect –without wings –3 pair of legs Size –length: max. 4 mm –height : 2 mm Colour –normally transparent = difficult to detect –become brown/red when they have eaten What are head lice ? (1)

6 6 Habitat –They live in human hair, in warm surroundings = behind the ears or around the nape of the neck –They are parasites = they feed on human blood Mobility –Can swim –Cannot jump but can move very quickly What are head lice ? (2)

7 What are nits ?

8 8 Nits : Are empty shell or dead egg Are attached to the hair thanks to a kind of adhesive deposited by the louse during the laying Can remain weeks or even months after infection Head lice are not nits

9 How do we get head lice ?

10 10 Head lice spread through contact Direct contact : from one head to another (by playing together, doing sports together …) Indirect contact : –from objects such as armchairs, scarves, hats, towels… –in the swimming pool –by exchanging cycling helmets, brushes, combs … Head lice can infect anyone, not just children

11 How do I know if I have head lice ?

12 12 How do I know if I have head lice ? Some people will get an itchy scalp Some people don’t know they have head lice Detection combing is the best method to identify head lice

13 Detection combing: how to do it ?

14 14 Detection combing (1) PREPARATION Get a special detection comb at your local pharmacy Remove tangles with an ordinary comb Divide the wet (towel dry) hair into sections

15 15 Detection combing (2) STEP 1 With the teeth of the detection comb touching the scalp at the top of the head, start combing towards the end of the hair, keeping the teeth of the comb in contact with the scalp as long as possible. Work on one section at a time STEP 2 Keep a close eye on the comb for any signs of head lice. Wiping it on a tissue can help identify the head lice STEP 3 Repeat the process moving round the whole of the head. It will take minutes to do it properly

16 16 Detection combing (3) CONCLUSION If a living moving louse is found, you have head lice You must not be treated unless you find a living, moving louse Nits might point on an infection in the past, but does not necessarily mean you are infected

17 17 Detection combing (4) ADVICE Make sure you have plenty of light - ideally natural daylight You can put a white towel on the shoulders or comb the hair over a white surface (washing- basin, bath-tube or white table) to see more easily the lice falling out of the hair Perform detection combing on all family members and anyone who is likely to have had head to head contact with the affected person

18 If head lice are found, what do I have to do ?

19 19 If head lice are found, what do I have to do ? STEP 1 Go to your local pharmacy to buy an anti-lice treatment STEP 2 Read the leaflet before doing the treatment STEP 3 Treat all infected persons of the family the same day STEP 4 Inform school and everyone who was in close or regular contact over the last 2 weeks

20 20 If head lice are found, what do I have to do ? ADVICE Decontaminate also the environment, to avoid a new infection: –Change and wash bed linen and clothes at 60°C –Everything which cannot be washed at 60°C, e.g. synthetic clothing, brushes, combs, armchairs, helmets, soft toys … can be decontaminate with a special treatment for the environment (insecticide aerosol)

21 How can we prevent head lice?

22 22 How can we prevent head lice? We recommend to: Attach long hair Wear a bathing cap in the swimming pool Use a repellent in period of head lice epidemic Not exchange clothing (scarf, hat, helmet…), brushes or combs If you find a living moving louse, tell anyone you have been in contact with. Advice them to use the detection method and if they find live lice, advice them to tell everyone they have been in contact with

23 23 The main points revised A head lice isn’t dangerous but could be very annoying. They can be transmitted by direct or indirect contact with infected people Detection combing helps you to identify head lice –If lice are found: buy an anti-lice treatment at your local pharmacy and treat the infected person, the rest of the family and warn everyone who has been in close contact during the last two weeks –If no lice are found: prevent head lice; be careful with exchanging clothes and brushes, wear a bathing cap in the swimming pool and attach long hair. Do a weekly check to be sure

24 24 For more information:


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