Be concerned only with items that have been in contac with infested individuals’ hair in the last 24 to 48 hours.
Replace sheets, towels, and PJs with clean ones. If child sleeps with comforter or blanket, you can dry them on high heat for 20 minutes. If your child sleeps with any stuffed animals, put them into a hot dryer for 20 minutes, or refrain fom using them for 48 hours.
Avoid lice sprays! They don’t work and can cause problems for individuals with upper respiratory problems. Run a light vacuum on items on which child sits regularly, and in the absence of a vacuum you may use a lint brush on a sofa, etc., or just cover with an old sheet for 48 hours.
Backpacks can be washed or wiped down with hot water.
Most mothers waste both time and energy doing countless loads of wash of bed linens and clothes. Lice are not living in your enviroment. They are living on your head. Time is better spent checking the children’s heads and calling anyone with whom they have had contact in the last several weeks.
Remove hair from brushes. Wash nit comb an old toothbrush or nailbrush. Soak in any solvent for at least 2 hours or boiling water for 10 minutes, or bag and freeze for 2 hours.
Notify your child’s school, camp, childcare provider, neighborhood parents and friends with whom you have been in contact. Failing to do so will only put your child back at risk of being re-infested with head lice.
Watch for signs of head lice such as frequent head scratching. Keep in mind that only 50% of individuals with head lice actually scratch their heads. Scratching is an allergic reaction to the lice’s saliva.
Keep long hair up or in a braid or ponytail. Doing so reduces chances of lice spreading while less than 2% of cases comes from items in our environment, children who share helmets can either wear a bandanna on their heads or use moist wipe (such as baby wipe) to clean the helmet after each use. You could also buy the children their own helmets.
Head-to-head contact is the most common way to get head lice, such as play time, slumber parties, sports activities, car pool, or camp, i.e., anywhere that heads are in contact with other heads.
Comb through the infected person’s head using a nit comb for 2 to 5 minutes once or twice a week for three weeks. If after the first couple of checks you are still combing nits out, please contact Larger Than Lice.
When a person is deemed clear of head lice, it does not mean that screening should stop. Regular combing should become part of everyone’s weekly routine.