Here's how to treat head lice and save money

Don't let your guard down of the summer time when it comes to head lice.

So you survived the school year lice-free? Consumer Reports says don’t let your guard down over the summer. Camp and other summertime activities can spread lice.

Consumer Reports says when it comes to getting rid of lice - skip the chemical products.

The active ingredients in both Rid and Nix, two common lice treatments, can cause painful side effects including itchy and inflamed skin, chemical burns and even difficulty breathing. But what’s even more shocking? Research suggests that lice are increasingly resistant to the chemicals in these products.

Instead, Consumer Reports says physically combing out the bugs and their eggs is safer and actually more effective than chemical treatments. Plus, you'll get to save the cash you would have spent on treatment.

Here’s how to do it: Coat the hair and scalp with a conditioner. With a wide tooth comb, separate the hair into smaller sections. Then run a metal nit comb through each smaller section. Lice prefer to live and lay their eggs very close to the scalp so when you comb, focus on that area.

After you comb through, wipe the comb onto a paper towel and look for lice. When you’re finished with the whole head, wash the combs in very hot, soapy water and throw the used paper towels in a resealable plastic bag then throw it away.

Continue to the comb process every day until no more live lice are seen. Then again, every few days for about a month.

Lice can’t live off of your head for too long, so you actually don’t have to go crazy with the housecleaning. What you want to do is just focus on the items that have come into direct contact with your child’s head over the past few days.

Consumer Reports says to concentrate on cleaning the most important items. Soak your combs and brushes in boiling water for five to ten minutes. Bag up anything that can’t be washed like stuffed animals and pillows for two weeks.

Be sure to wash recently worn clothing and bedding and dry them on a high-heat setting. And finally-- be sure to check and treat everyone in your family so you don’t keep passing the lice around.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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