Additional Parent Resources for Head Lice


    Some websites for more information on head lice:

    Images to assist in the identification of head lice and their eggs



    A helpful brochure in English and Spanish from the Texas Dept. of State Health Services



    and from the Center for Disease Control



    Other Head Lice Treatments:

    Although our recommendations are outlined in the letter you received from the school nurse, we are aware that other health care providers may recommend additional treatments.  Here are some of those to help you if you choose to use them.  Again, the most important thing is safely returning your child to school as quickly as possible, without the signs of active lice.


    “Traditional” Pediculicide Treatments

    All pesticide lice treatments must be used as directed to reduce the risk of children. Instructions must be followed carefully. The medication must not be left on the child's head for a time greater than indicated and not reapplied before package recommendations. Most treatments have different recommendations; one brand may have different instructions than another.

    Traditional pesticide treatments for head lice may include those described below.

    Over-the-Counter Head Lice Medications

    Permethrin - Brands such as Nix or other generic store brands.

    Pyrethrum - Brands such as Rid, Pronto, A-2000 or other generic store brands.

    RID 1-2-3 Lice Elimination Kit - contains three products, shampoo, Egg and Lice Comb-out Gel, and a spray for non-washable items.

    Both permethrin and pyrethrum should not be used on children or adults allergic to chrysanthemums, ragweed, or petroleum products.


                           Prescription Head Lice Medications

    Malathion Lotion - Brands such as Ovide (Caution: Flammable Product)

    Lindane - Brands such as Kwell

    National Pediculosis Association does not recommend this product for use by children as it is potentially dangerous to the nervous system. Research finds this product to be a toxin that can cause brain damage and even death.

    All pesticides used to treat head lice require careful and proper use for safe and effective treatment. Each one has specific instructions that must be followed carefully. Because all may be irritating to the eyes, mucus membranes, and scalp, it is best to use a sink for treatment to minimize body exposure. Children should never be allowed to apply or treat their own hair. Adult supervision is absolutely critical for safety and effectiveness. Rubber dishwashing gloves are recommended for use during treatment.

    No pesticide or alternative treatment will be successful without effective removal of all live lice and nits (eggs) by combing and picking them from the scalp and hair shafts. If live bugs remain after treatment with one product, then a different product should be used for the next treatment after the recommended waiting period. This is a good time to use alternative treatments while waiting for the waiting period to elapse.

    Pesticide sprays to the environment are generally not effective and are felt to be dangerous to children. Thorough washing and vacuuming is safer and more effective. A lint remover (the roller kind with sticky tape) can be used on the difficult areas where a vacuum cannot reach. Daily inspection and removal of any live lice and nits and treatment of the environment are crucial to preventing re-infestation.

    All combs and brushes should be replaced or soaked in hot water (130o F) for at least 10 minutes.

    All laundry should be washed and rinsed in hot water with a detergent. One alternative product that has been developed is Acu-Life Lice Wash Laundry Detergent which contains

    Tea Tree Oil to kill lice in bedding and clothes.


    Alternative Lice Treatments

    Several products are on the market that are advertised as more “natural” than the the traditional treatments for preventing head lice. Some of those products are listed below.

    These are most successfully used in conjunction with the more traditional pediculicides.

    Alberto VO5 Shampoo

    1. 1. Cover the entire scalp with Alberto VO5 shampoo. Use as much as needed to saturate the hair.

    2. 2. Cover the scalp with saran wrap or a plastic bag or cap, and secure it to the head with a hairpin or clip. Be very careful not to cover the child's nose or mouth. Always supervise a child the entire time this covering is in place.

    3. 3. Leave this in place for 30 minutes, then rinse well.

    4. 4. Blow-dry the hair. Carefully go through hair and remove every lice and egg (nit) using your fingernails or a special lice comb.

    Clear Lice Infestation Removal Kit

    This product kit contains Not Nice to Lice Mousse that uses enzymes to kill the lice and also contains a fine tooth lice egg comb.

    Five-Step Battle Plan

    Step 1. Use an over-the-counter pediculicidal shampoo or crème rinse to kill most of the lice. Read the labels carefully and discuss the product with your doctor or pharmacist. The National Pediculosis Association discourages the use of Lindane (Kwell), a prescription product that can cause serious side effects.

    Step 2. Apply olive oil treatment to smother and kill active head lice (lab tested at the Harvard School of Public Health). Apply as demonstrated in the video using the following calendar:

    Olive Oil Treatment Days: 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, & 21.

    The treatments have been carefully timed to coincide with the life cycle of the louse. If you choose not to use a pediculicide, use the olive oil treatment on Day 1 and Day 2 in addition to all other designated days (see below).

    You may do the treatments more often if you like, but do not miss any of these days or, chances are, you will have to start over.

    Step 3. Perform the housecleaning steps in the parent letter from DISD to clean the environment and help avoid re-infestation.

    Step 4. Leave the olive oil in the hair and comb out the nits using a good metal nit comb. Comb the hair section by section. Then comb carefully over the entire scalp. Wash out the oil with a gentle hair shampoo.

    Note: The olive oil kills by covering the holes through which the lice breathe. If lice aren't completely covered by oil, they may not die. But the oil will slow them down, allowing them to be caught in the nit comb. If the pediculicide fails to kill a bug, it means that bug is resistant and will never be killed by that chemical, no matter how many times you use it. This is not true of olive oil. Each time you use the olive oil, it has a better chance of killing each bug.

    Step 5. Check dry hair in bright light for any nits you have missed.


    K1 out

    This is a pesticide-free product. For more information or to order call 1.877.534.5435 or visit their website at www.kielpharm.com.

    Lice Freee!

    This product is a thick white water based gel composed of 10% sodium chloride (salt) that paralyzes lice. Call 1.800.482.4464 for a free sample and product information.

    Lice Ice

    Lice Ice is a natural, non-toxic head lice treatment that requires little to no combing. It can be used as often as re-infestation occurs or everyday as a preventative. It is applied to DRY hair, massaged to the roots, allowed to dry completely, and left on for at least 8 hours. Hair is not to be covered. Regular shampoo removes the product.

    Lice Ice is non-greasy and pleasant smelling. Because Lice Ice is based in a hair styling product, it does not dry out the hair. It can also be used on scabies. It is found in some Walgreen Drugs.

    LiceOff Plus

    This is a product of essential oils that is added to water and sprayed onto the infested scalp. This all-natural product is reported to immediately kill head lice.

    Lice Out

    This product is a water-based gel that paralyzes lice and saturates the hair shaft to help nits readily slide off. It is registered by the FDA as a medical device accompanied by a comb and an optivisor to assist visibility. For more information or to order call Wal-Med, Inc., at 1.877.542.3688 or visit their website at http://www.liceout.com/.

    Thursa Herbal Inc. Head Lice Shampoo

    This is a chemical free product that contains 5 herbs, vegetable shampoo, cider vinegar, and castile soap. This product is supposed to cause nits to fall out during rinsing and stuns active lice making them easier to be removed.