• #1.  Check Others:

    Check other household members and those with close contact for head lice.  Treatment for head lice is recommended for persons diagnosed with an active infestation. All household members and other close contacts should be checked; those persons with evidence of an active infestation should be treated at the same time.  Ask your physician or pharmacist to recommend an effective over-the-counter or prescription treatment.  SHAVING YOUR CHILDS HEAD IS NOT NECESSARY!

    #2.  Treatment:

    ***Read treatment instructions thoroughly prior to use.  Follow instructions exactly.

    Do not use a combination shampoo/conditioner, or conditioner before using lice medicine.

    Do not re-wash the hair for 1-2 days after the lice medicine is removed.

    Most treatments only kill live lice not nits (eggs) and, therefore, require re-treatment in 7-9 days (see re-treatment below).

    If a few live lice are still found 8-12 hours after treatment, but are moving more slowly than before, do not retreat. The medicine may take longer to kill all the lice. Comb dead and any remaining live lice out of the hair using a fine-toothed nit comb.

    If, after 8-12 hours of treatment, no dead lice are found and lice seem as active as before, the medicine may not be working. Do not retreat until speaking with your health care provider; a different lice medicine (pediculicide) may be necessary

    Do not use extra amounts of any lice medication unless instructed to do so by your physician and pharmacist. The drugs used to treat lice are insecticides and can be dangerous if they are misused or overused.

    Do not treat an infested person more than 2-3 times with the same medication if it does not seem to be working. This may be caused by using the medicine incorrectly or by resistance to the medicine. Always seek the advice of your health care provider if this should happen. He/she may recommend an alternative medication.

    #3.  Household Cleaning:

    Hats, scarves, pillow cases, bedding, clothing, and towels worn or used by the infested person in the 2-day period just before treatment is started can be machine washed and dried using the hot water and hot air cycles because lice and eggs are killed by exposure for 5 minutes to temperatures greater than 53.5°C (128.3°F).

    Items that cannot be laundered may be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks.  

    Items such as hats, grooming aids, and towels that come in contact with the hair of an infested person should not be shared.

    Vacuuming furniture and floors can remove an infested person's hairs that might have viable nits attached.

    Head lice do not survive long if they fall off a person and cannot feed.  Therefore, you don't need to spend a lot of time or money on housecleaning activities. 

    ***Do not use fumigant sprays; they can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

    #4.  After each treatment:

    Check the hair and comb with a nit comb to remove nits and lice.  Repeat every 2-3 days to decrease the chance of self-reinfestation.  Nit (head lice egg) combs, often found in lice medicine packages, should be used to comb nits and lice from the hair shaft. During the week after treatment, some previously laid eggs may hatch.  Therefore, you may see some live lice during the week after treatment. 

    #5.  Retreatment:

    Retreatment generally is recommended for most prescription and non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs on day 7-9.  Remember, the objective is to kill any surviving hatched lice before they mature and produce new eggs.  But, do not re-treat earlier then day 7-9 because you want to wait till all eggs remaining after first treatment hatch prior to treating again.

    ***To be most effective, retreatment should occur after all eggs have hatched but before any new eggs are laid.

    #6.  Post treatment:

    Continue to check for 2-3 weeks to be sure all lice and nits are gone.