- Presence of an itchy scalp
- Tiny red bump or scratch marks on the scalp
- Irritability and fussiness in the infant
- Sometimes the lice infestation can itself be spotted – tiny, wingless insects in the hair as sticky masses or egg like formation.
Lice infestation is very contagious and is spread through close contact with other infected children and adults. Make sure that your child, if detected with lice, does not bring their head too close to any other individual’s. Also, make sure that you have a separate set of towels, combs, hats, scarves, bed sheets and covers for your infant.
One can try to remove lice infestation at home itself by following these steps:
- Wet your infant’s hair with warm water. This mobilizes the lice and eases combing.
- Apply a small amount of conditioner to the hair. Conditioner helps glide the comb through the hair.
- Comb through your baby’s hair using a fine-toothed hairbrush. Go slow and apply a bit of pressure in every stroke so that the lice can be extracted out upon impact with the comb. However, please ensure that repeated combing does not cause injury to the soft skin of the child’s scalp.
- Then scavenge through the scalp to see any lice remains or visible nits, Use your thumb, fingers, and nails to squeeze them out of the hair.
- Repeat this process every day or every alternate day for a week or so, to make sure all of the insects are out.
Sometimes the pain or irritation may be too much or the infestation may be too severe and widespread. In such cases, an over-the-counter lice-cleansing product may be needed to be applied to the child’s scalp. But make sure that is appropriate for use on babies. One can also use lice-killing products which are sold as hair gels, cream rinse conditioners, and shampoos.
Home remedies range from olive oil to baby oil, and even petroleum jelly which can be applied onto the scalp, following which the lice can be brushed out and blow-dried.
Some even suggest that applying mayonnaise to the hair and then putting on a shower cap is a viable alternative, as it suffocates the parasites, which can then be brushed out.
But the process does not just end up by getting rid of lice from the head. Once the infestation has been combed out, one must cleanse all the bed sheets, all the seat covers thoroughly in warm sterilized water. The same needs to be done with soft toys and other stuffed animals.