With all the potential challenges that may come along with a new baby, head lice are probably not the first concern that pops into a new parent’s mind. Some parents even think that since there is very little hair on their newborn, lice shouldn’t even be possible. But when a family has lice, a baby may have lice, too.
What Is Head Lice?
Head lice are parasites that live only on human heads. An infestation includes nits, which are lice eggs; each nit contains a nymph, which is a baby louse; and adult lice, the moving bugs that bite, sometimes causing itching.
Lice in babies can be difficult to spot because the bugs are elusive, and the baby cannot tell you something is wrong. The first symptom most parents see is visible tiny nits.
How do Babies Get Lice?
Head lice in newborn babies are contracted the same way as anyone else gets lice. Most commonly this is from direct head-to-head contact with someone who has an active case of lice. If you have another child that is school-aged, this can increase the chances as young children often enjoy spending time with their younger siblings. Less often, babies can get lice from combs, scarves, blankets, etc but this is rare. If you have an older child with a case of head lice, be sure to check your baby for lice, as well.
Symptoms of Lice in Toddlers
Head lice in infants look the same as on anyone, including toddlers. When the child is a toddler though, you may see the child scratch more. Symptoms of lice in baby hair on toddlers may include:
- Scratching around the head;
- Red rash or bug bite marks;
- When checking your toddler or baby, nits within ¼” of the scalp may be visible and are glued to strands of hair;
- Seeing actual bugs is rare on older kids, but they are usually easier to spot on baby-fine hair.
What to Do If You've Noticed Lice in Toddlers Hair, Lice on Baby Hair
- If you find head lice on your infant or toddler, you want to treat it quickly AND safely.
- Exposing the baby to the harsh chemicals in lice shampoo (so close to the face) worries many parents. Pesticides can be irritating, and worse, they rarely work nowadays with chemical-resistant lice! Plus, no matter what they say on the box, no chemical can kill all of the nits.
- How to treat head lice on a baby then? Removal with wet combing is safe, natural, and effective when done properly. It’s the only lice treatment for babies most pediatricians recommend.
- By the time you can visually see lice on the baby’s head, it’s almost guaranteed mom also has lice. Check the whole family and treat whoever has lice!
- Keep checking! At any given time, some nits will be too underdeveloped to see, so keep searching for nits for at least a couple of weeks after treatment. Remove any you find with the lice comb or by hand.
Natural Treatment for Lice in Toddlers
When a toddler or baby has lice, don’t panic. Lice treatment for babies and toddlers can be done safely and effectively.
- Act naturally; freaking out will upset your kids.
- Play a favorite show for distraction.
- Wet hair with olive oil or baby oil.
- Comb hair in every direction with a professional nit comb.
- Wipe comb between each pass on a paper towel to remove lice/nits.
- Keep combing until no lice/nits are coming out.
- With fine baby hair, the comb cannot remove many of the nits. Handpick the nits that are left after combing.
- Remove every visible nit.
- Leave the oil on to protect the head over the next few hours.
- Check again every couple of days.
Treating lice in toddlers is tricky. It’s natural for them to test their authority by refusing to cooperate. Many parents hire us simply because they know their toddler is more likely to cooperate with a professional than with a mom or dad.
Should You Keep Your Baby From The Nursery?
Many families consider is lice dangerous for babies when determining whether to send their infant back to daycare. While lice should be treated, it is not dangerous to humans. We recommend consulting your nursery school director on their lice policies, and if lice do not exclude them from daycare, they can continue to go as scheduled. However, we do recommend advising the caregiver of your baby’s case of lice so they can keep others from having direct head-to-head contact with them. This will also make the daycare center aware of an active case of lice which will allow them the opportunity to check the others in the room as well.
We Provide Natural In-Home Lice Treatment
New parents are exhausted and head lice treatment for babies is challenging. If your time is better spent with other things outside of researching lice in babies' hair treatment, and lice treatment for infants and toddlers, professional help is available. Contact us at 800-224-2537 and LiceDoctors will eliminate the lice using an all-natural treatment that is effective at getting rid of lice in a way that’s safe for the baby.