Nursing Interventions For Children With Pediculosis (Lice Infestation)


  • Apply, or teach family to apply, pediculicide shampoo or rinse.
  • Read directions several times in quite environment before application.
  • Make child as comfortable as possible during procedure.
  • Playing “beauty parlor” adds a dimension of fun as well as providing eye safety.
  • Use plastic drape to prevent drug getting on other body parts.
  • Instruct child to shut eyes tightly during application; if irritation occurs, flush well with tepid water.
  • Don’t use hair dryer.
  • Use fine toothcomb on dry or slightly damp hair to remove empty nit cases.
  • Stress importance of second application of pediculicide or shampoo.
  • Contact community agencies for suggestions for reducing epidemics.
  • Launder washable items of clothing and linens in hot water and dry in dryer or hot setting for at least 20 minutes.
  • Soak combs, brushes, and other hair utensils in pediculicide shampoo or lotion for 1 hour or in boiling water for 10 minutes (some advocate placing non-washable, non-cleanable items in a tightly closed plastic bag that remains sealed for 14 days).
  • Vacuum mattresses and upholstered furniture carefully; pediculosis sprays are not recommended.
  • Caution children against sharing combs, hats, caps, scarves, coats, or other items used on or near the hair.
  • Explain or reinforce explanation of the condition and its mode of transmission.
  • Treat family member with evidence of infestation.
  • Allay child’s feelings of shame and embarrassment.
  • Reassure family that anyone can get pediculosis with no association with age,cleanliness, and socioeconomic level.
  • Caution family against cutting child’s hair or shaving head as treatment or punishment (cutting long hair may help with removal of nit cases)

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