CHENNAI: Children are back in schools after summer vacations. It is the time to ensure that they are back to normal routine. When it comes to hygiene, head lice is one thing we should pay attention to. Lice are small insects which live on human and animal hair and survive on a small quantity of blood sucked from the scalp. This is a common problem among school going kids especially girls between ages of five to twelve. Lice can transmit microbial diseases, create irritation and inflammation on the head.
When the louse bites, it causes itching and scratching. The saliva of lice reacts with the scalp and causes itching. Children complain of something moving in their head or tickling sensation
In case of some kids, the irritation is mild. But in some cases, it may be more causing him/ her to scratch all the time. Excess scratching causes bacterial infection and rashes.
Tips to ward off lice
- Avoid wearing head gears unnecessarily.
- Avoid hot and humid weather. Keep your sleeping area cool and well ventilated.
- Use nalunguma for head bath.
- Opt for short hair to avoid sweat remaining on the scalp for long.
- For treating lice, people prefer OTC products. But these medications do not kill 100% of the lice eggs. The treatments should be followed by manual removal of the eggs.
- Once a person is diagnosed with head lice, everyone in the family should be checked for the infestation.
- Teach children not to share items such as combs, brushes and hats, although such precautions are unlikely to prevent all cases of head lice.
- Onions: Crush onions (5-7) and press the paste over a sieve. Use this juice to massage over the scalp. Let it stay for 1 hour and then wash with water.
- You can use neem oil or take neem leaves and make a fine paste of it. Apply this paste thoroughly on the hair and let it dry. Also you can use the basil leaves.
- Kaakkai kolli or paen kolli (Anamirta cocculus) can be used as ointments with a siddha physician’s guide.
— (Government Siddha Physician, Tiruchy)