How to Prevent Head Lice?

Updated at: Dec 29, 2012
How to Prevent Head Lice?

The tiny crawlers not only create trouble on your head, but can get easily transmitted from one person to another. Therefore, you need to maintain personal hygiene along with taking other preventive measures to thwart hair lice from bothering you.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Other DiseasesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Sep 11, 2012

How to Prevent Head Lice

Head lice cannot be prevented by personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school in case you have come in contact with a person who has head lice. Read to know ways for head lice prevention.

  • Advice your child not share hats, scarves, coats, combs, brushes, hair decorations and other personal belongings with other children at school. However, this may not be a realistic way to prevent head lice in children as it is not possible to eliminate all the types of contact that can possibly result in the spread of lice.
  • For head lice prevention, it is important to take thorough steps to get rid of the lice and nits in hair (of all the members of your family) with regular treatment if required.
  • Besides personal care and treatment, treatment of all the members of the family is recommended to avoid re-infestation with the lice.
  • Wash bed linen and clothing in hot water to kill lice and nits and dry them in a dryer (hot cycle for at least 20 minutes). Wash all the clothes and bed linens which the infected person touched during the 2 days before diagnosis.
  • All clothing or linen that can’t be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. Similarly seal all other non-washable items (such as stuffed animals and comforters,) in plastic bags as well for 2 weeks.
  • Send personal belongings such as coats, hats, and scarves for dry-cleaning.
  • Combs and brushes can be cleaned by soaking them in rubbing alcohol or Lysol for about 1 hour, or washing with soap and hot water.
  • Floors and all furniture should be vacuum cleaned. Use of lice sprays is not recommended as they can be toxic if inhaled.

If your child gets head lice do not consider it a mistake on your part as a parent as the spread of head lice among children can occur in day-care centres and schools. Head lice do not reflect poorly on your hygiene habits. It just indicates that you have been in contact with someone who has head lice.


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