There are a lot of things that you might look forward to your child taking home from school this year; good grades, fun projects, new friends. One thing you definitely don’t want them taking home? Head lice.
Outbreaks of head lice are fairly common in schools and daycares, where the pests can easily be spread from one child to the next. It’s a good idea to know the signs and symptoms of lice, so that you can treat any new infestations as soon as possible. Knowing what to watch out for will help you catch the problem before it has a chance to spread to other members of your family. Here are a few things to look out for as your child returns to school this year:
One of the biggest symptoms of head lice is, obviously, an itchy scalp. Of course, there are many other things that can cause itchiness, such as dandruff, allergies, or just dry scalp from the changing weather. There’s no need to jump to conclusions, but if your child is scratching their head more often and complaining of an itchy or tingly scalp, you may want to check for lice.
Sores and Scabbing
Kids tend to scratch harder than necessary when they have an itch, and they can end up injuring themselves in the process. In the case of head lice, children may even scratch throughout the night without realizing it. If you suspect head lice, check your child’s scalp and hairline for sore spots, scratch marks or scabs that have been caused by excess scratching.
Loss of Sleep
The itchiness caused by lice can be persistent, and the constant discomfort will probably disrupt your child’s sleep schedule. If your child has a hard time getting asleep or staying asleep due to itching, there’s a good chance that head lice are to blame.
If your child has head lice, they’ll probably be more irritable than usual, and it’s no wonder why. Not only are they feeling itchy and uncomfortable, but they aren’t getting enough sleep either – and that’s enough to put anybody in a bad mood. Before chiding your child for having a bad attitude, check to see if there’s a cause behind all of that crankiness. If you notice that they have all of the other symptoms mentioned, that cause might be head lice.
As we’ve mentioned before, an itchy scalp may be caused by a number of things, so it’s important to confirm that head lice are the problem before deciding on a plan of action. You can do a preliminary lice check by looking along your child’s hairline and base of the neck, to see if you can find any visible bugs.
Lice can be hard to see just by looking, so the best way to detect them is with a louse comb. Simply run the comb through your child’s hair a few times, wiping it off on a paper towel after each swipe to see if it’s removed any lice or eggs.
Once you have confirmed that your child does indeed have a case of head lice, don’t panic. As annoying and frustrating as they are, lice don’t pose any serious health risks and they are fairly easy to get rid of with the right treatment.
Your child will have a lot to think about at school, so don’t let a case of head lice be at the forefront of their mind. To help make this a great school year for them and you, contact us at Lice Clinics of America today for more information on finding, treating, and eliminating head lice.
When most people think of treating head lice, they know nothing more than the techniques used on them when they were children. They recall not so pleasant sessions of chemical ridden shampoos and hours spent combing through long strands of hair. For the unlucky ones, they still squirm at the sound of an electric razor as they remember long locks of hair chopped off in hopes of ridding their head of those pesky lice!
Fortunately for kids facing lice today, there are more kid-friendly options than perhaps we had as children. If you are facing head lice and asking yourself “Which head lice treatments are actually kid friendly?”, then keep reading!
Over the counter lice treatment options
At one time, OTC lice treatment options were the only ones available to families suffering from head lice. Unfortunately, the overuse of such products has developed what researchers call super lice – bugs that have become resistant to the chemicals contained in these products. In spite of this, the market for OTC lice treatment shampoos is booming and, while you may see some alleviation of symptoms, most likely these treatments will take a long time to completely rid your child’s head of lice. Families often face many months of lice removal before they can officially declare their child lice free.
Home remedies or “natural” lice remedies
From smothering one’s head in mayonnaise to slathering petroleum jelly all over the scalp, the internet does not disappoint for natural lice remedies. While some people do find success using such methods, most find themselves with nothing to prove but a sticky and oily head of hair! It’s important to remember that lice eggs don’t breathe, so any attempt to suffocate can ultimately prove fruitless.
The good news is most of these remedies are easy on the pocketbook – the bad news is that even a small expenditure that doesn’t work is still a waste of money.
Never ending nit-picking
Perhaps more than any other remedy, most of us have painful childhood memories of our parents slowly picking away at our hair with a fine tooth comb for hours on end. Even the most patient of adults may find it hard to sit still for hours on end – let alone a small child. This slow, painful process is successful at removing some lice and their eggs – however, even the most dedicated nit picker is still fallible! The moment you finish this process, it must start again, leaving children and parents frustrated at the hours (and tears) poured out in the lice removal process.
The AirAllé® Lice Treatment
Fortunately for kids and parents today, there is a more kid-friendly approach to lice removal. The AirAllé® lice treatment is an FDA cleared medical device proven to kill live lice and 99.2% of lice eggs in just a 60-minute session. During treatment, our trained and certified technicians work through a 3-step process to kill and dehydrate the lice and their eggs. It’s a painless process that doesn’t involve pulling on your child’s hair, applying harsh chemicals or hours of nit-picking.
First, we conduct a heated air treatment to kill and dehydrate lice and their eggs. The next step involves a trained technician combing out the lice and their eggs. During this process, we apply a special mousse to your child’s hair to ensure a painless experience, regardless of your child’s hair length. Finally, we apply a topical rinse as a precautionary measure. If there are any remaining lice in your child’s hair, the rinse will wipe them out once and for all!
If you or someone you know has just been given the dreaded lice diagnosis, don’t waste your time on other treatments! Call the Lice Clinics of America and make an appointment to take care of the problem once and for all!
As parents, school administrators and teachers know, head lice is one of the health troubles that seems to come with elementary school age children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there are between 6 and 12 million cases of head lice in school children under age 12 each year. For a while, we had a handle on it — or so we thought. But the big story these days is that head lice is getting worse in central Ohio. Here’s why & how to stop it. Read on for some different ways to accomplish that goal.
Yes, you read that right. Super-lice. Unfortunately, resistant lice has been happening since the 1990s in the US, Australia, and Europe. If you haven’t experienced an increase in treatment resistant lice infestations in your school, you’re lucky. In 2015, the following states confirmed they had treatment resistant lice:
- Alabama Arizona Arkansas
- California Connecticut Florida
- Georgia Illinois Indiana
- Kansas Kentucky Maine
- Maryland Massachusetts Minnesota
- Missouri North Carolina Ohio
- Rhode Island South Carolina Tennessee
- Texas Virginia Washington Wisconsin
If you’re counting, that’s half of the states in the Union! And it gets worse. A study in 48 states by the Journal of Medical Entomology released in the second half of 2016 found that 98% of the head lice studied in 42 states were 100% treatment resistant. The treatment resistant lice had gene mutations that made them resistant to three types of insecticides: pyrethrins, pyrethroids, permathrins.
History of Insecticides for Lice
The first natural insecticide to kill lice in the US debuted in 1945. It was pyrethrin. By 1980, Nix was the most common over-the-counter insecticide to kill lice and it was almost 100% effective. By 2000, however, Massachusetts and Florida noticed a genetic mutation in lice that resisted treatment with pyrethrin. By 2009, pyrethrin was only 25% effective and by 2015 98% of the lice in 42 states were nearly 100% treatment resistant. That’s a complete turn-about within 15 years.
Parapro.com says that consumers contributed to the rise in treatment resistant lice because 69% admitted they over-used the insecticides and used more than recommended doses to try to increase the effectiveness of the treatments.
Reasons for Spread of Head Lice Generally
Just acting like kids makes children particularly prone to conditions that help spread lice. They not only hug each other more than adults, they also share brushes, combs, hats, and hair accessories. In today’s digital world, kids put their heads together when they share selfie photos and headphones, making it easy for lice to jump from one head to another.
Home Remedies Don’t Work
Google the phrase “head lice solutions” and you’ll find home remedies galore (and probably us, too). The idea is that the substances should suffocate the lice. And they do but live lice are not the only problem. Their eggs are. And the home remedies do not suffocate eggs because the eggs do not breathe. They will just hatch and infest your child’s head. Home remedies include mayonnaise, olive oil (for the natural products), petroleum jelly (a derivative of oil refining), and — if you’re into hazardous materials — even kerosene.
Lice Treatments Other Than Insecticides
There are new chemicals that appear effective against lice infestations but they are more expensive than the over-the-counter shampoos that no longer work. Your child’s pediatrician can give you a prescription if the shampoos do not end the infestation.
Nitpickers Rise Again
If you’ve ever wondered about the origin of the word “nitpicking”, you may find it interesting to learn that some people today prefer to have the nits picked out by hand rather than resorting to more chemicals. It’s a laborious and time-consuming process in which the nitpickers use special combs (or their fingers) to pry the lice from the hair.
To talk more about this topic, or anything else, please contact us. Our professionals are specialists in our exclusive, new medical device which they use to apply just the right of heated air to just the right spots on the head to dehydrate and kill both live lice and their eggs. The FDA approved treatment kills live lice and about 99.2% of the eggs in one 60-90 minute treatment. Best of all, there are no harsh chemicals in the treatment — and no nitpicking.
Selfies have been around ever since we first invented the camera, and their tradition goes all the way back to the Victorian era. This is particularly true of the mirror selfie, which has been with us for centuries at this point. Of course, thanks to the fact that every phone has a camera in it these days, selfies are no longer restricted to those with money. In fact, taking selfies is pretty common for the younger generation, who grew up with the technology to do it.
Take a moment to think about what happens when a group of teens take a selfie together, though. They cram together, whether it’s in the back row of study hall or in front of the McKinley Memorial on a school trip, hold up their phones, and snap three or four shots so they’ve got options to choose from when it comes time to post and share the details of their day with their social media circle. The photo might not be the only thing that’s getting instantly transmitted, though. Because getting close to each other to all squeeze into the frame means Columbus teens are sharing more than screen time… a lot of the time, they’re sharing head lice, too.
Head lice are one of those things we try not to think about, but they’re more common than most of us realize. It’s just that with modern medicine and hygiene products, we have been able to control them with a fair amount of success. Especially since head lice can’t jump or fly, which means that if someone has them the only way they can spread is by literally pressing their head against someone else long enough for the lice to crawl across the gap.
Which is, of course, why friends getting intimate for a selfie can be a problem if one of them has head lice looking to spread to a new host.
Teens, in particular, are experiencing this problem in a way that hasn’t been true in the past. Because most of the normal risk factors for the spread of head lice, like sharing hats or other headgear, haven’t put that particular age group at risk. However, thanks to the spread of technology, we’re now spreading something else, too.
What Do We Do About It?
The obvious suggestion is to stop taking group selfies together, but you try telling Ohio teens that. Chances are they’d start taking even more selfies with their friends just to be contradictory.
Also, it wouldn’t solve the problem, which is that there is head lice to spread in the first place.
So, instead of chastising teens for expressing themselves by making memories with their friends, what we need to do is attack the root issue. That means we need to make sure young people of all ages are regularly checked for head lice, and that they know what the symptoms are they should be looking for. Additionally, we need to make treatments available so that anyone who finds they have head lice can take care of the issue quickly, before they spread it to friends, family, or anyone else.
We’re getting there… slowly. The key is to make sure everyone knows about the issue, what signs to look for, and when it’s best to wait to take a selfie. You should share most things with your friends, but this is one of those rare times when it really is best to abstain.
For more information on the spread of head lice among teens, and what you can do to make sure it’s prevented, simply contact us today!
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