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Although lice infestations can affect anyone, young, school-aged children are more susceptible to the parasites. Lice infestations are typically spread through direct, head-to-head contact in the classroom, on playgrounds, or in daycare centers. Numerous over-the-counter products, such as shampoos and cream rinses, are readily available for parents. However, many parents are seeking natural lice elimination alternatives because certain store-bought or prescription products might be dangerous for children.
For instance, pediculicides, or the pesticides used to kill lice, might cause serious allergic reactions, especially in children with already existing allergies. These negative side effects range from overexposure to insecticides, rashes, or hair damage. Parents should always consult with a doctor or pharmacist before using any pediculicide products, and the directions should be meticulously followed. Products containing lindane should be avoided. In some instances, the use of lindane to kill lice infestations has resulted in adverse neurological side effects, like headaches or even seizures. Lindane has even been linked to hospitalization and death.
For these reasons, many parents are seeking alternate head lice treatment methods. Often, parents conduct internet research to find head lice solutions that best meet their child’s needs. Before purchasing a natural or organic head lice remedy, parents should first read customer reviews to ensure that the products are effective. All-natural and organic products are generally safer than pediculicides. Any head lice regimen should be gentle on the child’s scalp and hair, and should not harm the child in any way.
One natural option for parents is smothering agents. Smothering agents like mayonnaise, Vaseline, and olive oil kill lice because the parasites cannot breathe. However, some smothering agents such as butter and mayonnaise are odorous and might upset an already traumatized child. Other agents like Vaseline are difficult to remove from the child’s hair, and might be painful. Additionally, smothering agents can be difficult to apply and might turn rancid if left on a child’s hair too long.
Experts and parents alike agree that olive oil is the best smothering agent. Olive oil is a safe, all-natural alternative to pediculicides. Laboratory tests conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health have verified that olive oil is a highly effective method for smothering and killing head lice. In addition, parents that have used olive oil as a smothering agent claim that the product actually conditions their child’s hair, repairing damage caused by failed pediculicide attempts. Unlike shampoos and cream rinses, an olive oil treatment plan can be repeatedly administered. Further, olive oil can also be used as a preventative treatment if parents suspect that their child has been exposed to a lice infestation.
Even though olive oil is an effective smothering agent, no treatment plan is complete without a nit free comb. This tool is vital for eliminating lice infestations because nits, or lice eggs, are firmly attached to hair shafts with a glue-like substance. Without the nit free comb, a child is at risk for a prolonged infestation. The nit free comb is safe and all natural, applicable for all hair types. The comb can be heated, sterilized, and reused, even to treat the entire family.
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