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The lice

Les poux
Lice are tiny parasitic insects that can install themselves on our body. Although they do not represent a serious medical problem, they are annoying and can spread very easily when there is contact.

The life of a louse begins when a slow, commonly called egg, is spawned. They are usually glued to the base of the hair shaft, frequently behind the ears or on the nape of the neck. Hatching occurs approximately 5 to 10 days after the laying of the eggs and then larvae begin feeding themselves immediately. The larvae will take at least seven days to reach the adult stage.

Head lice are found in the hair. They spread by contact, through clothing or hair brushes. When deprived of blood, their human host in our case, they cannot survive more than three days.
Head lice are common in most schools. New cases are reported annually, usually at the beginning of the autumn, when the new school year starts. Contrary to popular belief, head lice infest as often clean hair than oily hair.

The lice are usually propagated at child care centers and primary schools. They are not insects that can jump, they move quickly by crawling on the scalp or they cling to a stem of hair with their tiny front claws and then sway on a strand of hair to another. This way to move themselves enables them to go from one host to another during direct contact when the heads of children playing are close to each other or on the occasion of an indirect contact, with clothes or toys.

Treatment and prevention

Medications against lice are offered in the form of lotions, shampoos and rinsing creams. Then, it is a question of getting rid of nits that remain by using tweezers or a fine comb. This may take several hours for a head depending on hair length and of the number of nits.

Here are some anti-lice strategies

  • teach children that they should not share wool hats, headphones, combs, brushes or bicycle helmets, and that they should report any itching of the scalp;
  • comb the long hair by tying them behind the head so that they clear the face;
  • examine children’s hair regularly, especially if they are scratching their head very much;
  • wash in very hot water all personal items like hats, towels and pillowcases that touched the head of a person infested with lice at the time when the epidemic happened, and put them for at least 15 minutes in a dryer regulated at an elevated temperature;
  • destroy lice by using dry cleaning for the items that should not be washed, such as pillows, or confine hermetically into plastic bags for 10 to 14 days all the articles where the lice are housed, to kill them since they cannot survive separated from the host who feeds them;
  • avoid spraying a pesticide in your home to "disinfect". These products have toxic effects and do not help to take care of a contamination by head lice;
  • soak the brushes and combs in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes;
  • thoroughly use the vacuum-cleaner on objects such as carpets, furniture, mattresses, pillows and any other surface where someone may have rested their head. Do not forget the car’s seats.

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