Back to School Basics: Keeping your kids clear of head lice

(NC) -- Each year more than 37 per cent of Canadian kids will have head lice. Contracting the critters can come in many forms, from sharing hats and scarves to headphones and combs, so it's important to remind kids that although it's nice to share, there are some items they should keep to themselves.

Parents have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to head lice. Rumored to only affect children with dirty hair, head lice will cling to any kind of hair they can get; short, long, dirty, clean, it's all fair game for head lice. Since they habituate within an inch of the scalp, it's important to focus on detection before deletion.

“Detecting head lice can be tough, they can move up to 30 cm per minute and lay 3-8 eggs per day, so you'll need to be quick once you spot your child scratching their head!” says Victor Wong, a Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacist. “The most reliable way to detect head lice is to douse your child's dry hair in white conditioner and comb through small sections five times each, removing all byproduct from the comb after each stroke.”

For advice on head lice treatment, you can speak to your local pharmacist who can recommend a medicated shampoo that will eliminate head lice from your child's scalp. It's also recommended to seek advice if there has been a head lice outbreak at your child's school, or to prevent re-infection.

For more information, drop by your local Shoppers Drug Mart and speak with a pharmacist or visit


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