Maybe one of the biggest problems that you will face if your child or teenager comes home with a hair lice problem is panic. The very idea that bugs could have infected the scalp of the child and that tiny parasites are not only sucking her blood at the root of her hair but laying eggs on the hair is about as close to a horror movie situation for a child as she can imagine. So its good to be prepared not only with the right tools and shampoos but with knowledge about what to do so you can calm the child long enough to take action.
"Get them off of me!" is often the loud and emotional pleas that a child will wail when she begins to understand that her hair is infected with lice. That kind of panic can upset a parent and even gross you out and put you into a bit of a panic. But it is up to you to be the calm one and have a mature and workable plan that will indeed get the lice out of the child's hair in a hurry. Assure the youngster that you are in control and know exactly how to "get them off" as they are begging you to do.
Start with a good cleaning. The child or teenager may not know that their clothes may have been the transportation device that the lice used to get into their hair and that they may still have lice in the fabrics. As you educate the youngster into how they got this problem in the first place, your son or daughter will gladly get out of those clothes so they can be washed in very hot water and dried at high heat to kill any remaining lice in them. From there the youngster will have a hot shower with great attention to be paid to all areas of the body where lice might be present.
But the hair washing process may be something to be done by a parent because the special lice control shampoos need to be handled with greater care and worked into the scalp more deeply than kids usually do when they wash their hair. Not only do you need to make sure the shampoo gets worked into every inch of scalp and on every strand of hair and that takes patience. Then when you are done, use a metal toothed comb to sweep through the hair very carefully and comb out any lice or nits (the eggs of the lice).
This careful cleaning process should go a long way toward calming the child that you have the situation under control. But you can capitalize on that panic to assure that the purging process continues on for several weeks to make sure that all of the lice that hatch out of any nits that were missed are killed and removed before they can lay any eggs. The energy of that early panic will be put to good use if your child is cleaned of the lice once and for all and the entire family knows well what to do if the problem ever comes up again.