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Pediatrics/Preventing lice


This summer we found lice on my 5 yo and 2.5 yo.  Not sure if they got it at daycare or on vacation.  We were lucky and one treatment of Nix and a week of nit combing and we got the little buggers.  My 2.5 yo had it worse but his hair is short, thin and light colored so the nits were easily visible.  At the same time I had two friends in the same town whose kids also had lice, but the three of us live in different parts of town, kids go to different schools and gyms and child care...from what we heard it was all over town. My 5 yo started kindergarten yesterday.  I never want to have to go through lice again.  Nit combing my son's hair was the worst experience of parenting thus far and he barely let's me regular comb his hair a month later.  I still check once a week with just a regular comb, but is there any preventative things we can do?  The kids hair dresser said a water and tea tree oil spray every morning works, but when we were going through the lice issue we were researching the little buggers to find out life cycles and stages and what to look for and I saw a lot that said tea tree oil doesn't work and only checking and be reactive works. I would rather be proactive if I can.  Thanks!

Hi Erin,

Lice are ubiquitous since eternity...and contrary to popular perception, it has no relation with hygiene: Lice can be found even in most hygenic person...

Unfortunately, there is no effective preventive agent for lice. Usual measures of avoiding sharing of hats/ hair band and other hair accessories is all that is recommended: something that is too difficult to enforce strictly in young kids!!

Hence, best way is to keep screening and treat effectively at the first sign of infestation. For screening, I would like to inform you 3 points that would be helpful:

1.Best is examination of scalp in good light: Focus on scalp just behind ears: It is easiest to find lice there.

2. In patients with lice infestation, nits can remain for a long time even after effective treatment. Moreoever, there may be "pseudonits" that are not related to lice. Only seeing a moving lice confims the diagnosis of lice infestation.

3. Regular comb an be used to separate hair for examination of scalp: but have no role in examination/ removal of nits.

Best wishes,
Dr. Puneet Kumar,
Kumar Child Clinic, Dwarka,
New Delhi, India

+91-9818356846, +91-11-45535647  


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Dr. Puneet Kumar


I would be happy to answer general queries on prevention and treatment of ailments in newborn, infant, toddler, child or an adolescent. Needless to say, it will not be possible to answer any query that requires diagnosing, since it is not possible to examine a child online.


I have worked in various capacities (medical officer, resident, senior resident, consultant) in public as well as private sector in Pediatrics and Neonatology. Today, I have over 17 years of experience in the field.

Currently, I am running my own clinic (Kumar Child Clinic) in Dwarka, New Delhi and am attached to Lifeline Hospital, Dwarka as consultant pediatrics and neonatology. I am also developing my clinic website into a comprehensive child health/ parenting website (

(a) Chapter "National Immunization Schedule" in Frontiers of Social Pediatrics, Jaypee Publishers: 2nd edition, 2016. (b) Article, "All about Pertussis vaccines" in special issue of Indian Journal of Practical Pediatrics, July-Sept 2015 (c) Three chapters (DTP vaccines, Pneumococcal vaccines and Poliovirus vaccines) in "Textbook of Pediatrics for Post-graduates" First edition: 2015. (c) Chapter: "Alternative delivery methods of vaccines" in IAP textbook of Vaccines, First edition, 2014 (published by IAP/ Jaypee Brothers) (d) Special Article: "50 years of Immunization in India: Progress and Future" in January 2013 issue of Indian Pediatrics (e) Four chapters in "FAQ: Book on Vaccines and Immunization Practices" First edition, 2011 AND 2nd edition, 2015 published by Jaypee Brothers. (f) Three articles in special issue of Journal of Pediatric Sciences on “Controversies and Challenges in Pediatric Vaccination Today" in Sept, 2010. Co-edited the series also. (f) Regular column, “How do I treat” in Pediascene ( (g) Review article, “Role of Anti-Poliovirus Agents in Polio eradication and beyond” in Polio Pulse, April, 2008. (h) Chapter on “Acute Infectious Diarrhea” in Textbook of Infectious Diseases in Children. (An IAP Publication), 2007. 2nd edition in 2011. (i) Book-Review (IAP Pediatric Drug Formulary, 2004) in Pediascene, March 2005 ( ) (j) Case-report on Osteopetrosis. Jharkhand Journal of Pediatrics, Dec-2002.

After MBBS, I have done DNB residency in Pediatrics.

Awards and Honors
Winner of IAP practising pediatrician's quiz in 2001.

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