Head lice are a common nuisance of childhood. Kids can quickly pick them up by sharing hats, scarves, hair ribbons and other clothes; sharing combs, brushes or towels; or lying on a bed, couch, pillow or even cuddling a stuffed animal that belongs to a child who has lice.
To help prevent lice: Discourage this kind of sharing, particularly if you know there’s a local infestation.
To treat head lice: Try a natural solution of one-percent permethrin cream rinse, sold as Nix and Neem, which is derived from a tree in India. While lice can develop resistance to permethrin products and they can aggravate asthma in some children, both are relatively safe. Lice B Gone, a non-toxic, multi-enzyme shampoo made from plant sources that seems to get rid of lice in a single application, is another option. It works by softening the glue that holds the nits (lice eggs) to the hair shaft and also dissolves the exoskeletons of adult lice. Since it contains no pesticides, Lice B Gone is considered safe for pregnant women, nursing mothers, young children and people with asthma.
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