Texas is among several states who have updated their views on “no nit” policies in public school districts. For decades this policy has put children in embarrassing positions in front of their peers, removed them from the classroom for sometimes weeks at a time, and can be quite tricky to diagnose as nits, lice eggs, are often incredibly difficult to recognize.
Recently the media brought this to light as a fifth grade Florida student was kicked out of school on November 9, 2017 for a case of head lice. Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Duvall County Florida dismissed Maddie Hunter and then continued to refuse her to re-enter the classroom for over three weeks. Every morning her mother would drop her off at school, have her scalp rechecked for nits, and she would be turned away as one or two nits were discovered.
“I really need help with reading,” Maddie told Fox 30 News. “I’ve been struggling in reading and I can’t do that because of missing so much school.” Her situation not only took her out of the classroom for three weeks but she missed out on drama and choir rehearsals as well.
Maddie’s head had been treated multiple times by several over the counter shampoos, and no live lice were present. “They just said it’s a school board policy,” Maddie’s mother recounted to Fox 30 News. “Their hands are tied, they can’t do anything.”
Which bids the question? Is this indeed the best way to handle a case of head lice? If you ask the Texas Department of State Health Services it is not. Their website states, “According to Texas law your child will be sent home from school if live lice are found in their hair. However, they won’t be sent home, if only nits are found. The law also states that your child is allowed to return to school after one medicated shampoo or lotion treatment has been given. When your child returns to school, a head check is not required by law and there is no requirement to report head lice cases to officials.”
However, individual Texas school districts still have the ultimate power to decide. State officials make it clear, “Each school district can make their rules tougher if they choose. And many do. Talk to the school nurse or someone else in charge, to find out what your child’s school rules are.”
As Texas districts exam the facts it would be helpful to note that both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that “no-nit” policies should be reevaluated and changed. They agree head lice is a social issue not a health threat. “No nit” policies place an unequal amount of emphasis on head lice management than on real health concerns which should be higher priority. Research shows that the cost of sending nurses through entire school systems to do individual head lice checks is not an effective tool in fighting off infection. Students who miss too much school due to nits are also missing out on valuable learning time when the nits in their hair, which may already be hatched and are really empty shells, pose little or no risk to other students.
Head lice checks are offered through Lice Clinics of America. Diagnosis is often the most difficult part of catching the problem early on. Experts at our clinics can help you understand the warning signs and symptoms of head lice.
Every little girl dreams of beautiful braids, precious pigtails and gorgeous curls. But did you realize that when you style your little ones hair up into a cute hairdo you are actually helping to protect her against head lice? It makes sense if you think about it. If hair is up and out of the way it is much less likely to brush up against someone else with lice, or have a nit or louse attach to it. Here are some of our favorite quick, fun styles that will make your little beauty the talk of the town.
Favorite #1 – Fishtail Braid
Step 1 – Pull hair back into a low ponytail with a plastic elastic.
Step 2 – Divide ponytail into two even sections.
Step 3 – Separate a half inch section of hair from the left side of the ponytail.
Step 4 – Pull this piece of hair across the top of the left side ponytail and into the right side of the ponytail. Make sure not to twist the hair but pull it smoothly over.
Step 5 – Now separate a half inch section of hair from the right side of the ponytail.
Step 6 – Pull this piece of hair across the top of the right side ponytail and into the left side of the ponytail.
Step 7 – Continue to repeat steps 3-6 until you get to the end of length of hair.
Step 8 – Secure end with a band. Using your fingers, loosen up braid and pull on pieces of it to make it loose and even.
Step 9 – Cut out the plastic elastic from step 1 and let hair fall into place.
Fish Tail Braid
Favorite #2 – Messy Bun
Step 1 – Pull hair up into a high ponytail, or two high pigtails.
Step 2 – Take the ponytail and twist it tightly in one direction so it is in a nice, tight twist.
Step 3 – Wrap the twisted ponytail all the way around the base of the ponytail, creating a nice, close bun. Secure it into place with an elastic.
Step 4 – Next, take a comb and tease hair, tighten elastic and even bobby pin strands into place to create desired look. Spray with hairspray to keep in place.
Step 5 – Add a bow(s) to make it extra cute for your little girl.
Favorite #3 – Twisted Ponytail
Step 1 – Pull hair up into a high ponytail.
Step 2 – Dampen ponytail and divide into two even parts. Moisten each part with hair gel or mousse to prevent flyaways.
Step 3 – Take both strands of hair and twist tightly to the right until all the hair is twisted to the ends.
Step 4 – Now take both twisted strands and twist them together to the LEFT…the opposite direction.
Step 5 – Secure with an elastic and hair spray to keep it tight. Tie ends with a cute ribbon if desired.
Parents who have experienced a lice outbreak in their homes know, lice definitely have an impact on your child’s sleep. Lice are considered nocturnal creatures. They live off of human blood. During the evening hours they become active, crawling around the scalp of their victim searching for places to burrow, lay eggs and eat. Their saliva, fecal matter, and biting creates irritation and itching on the scalp. Imagine the sensation of insects crawling on your head, piercing your scalp and making a home on your head. Not the most sleep provoking scenario, to say the least. After your family is treated and lice free, here are some simple suggestions to getting back into a healthy bedtime pattern.
Pick an appropriate bedtime and stick to it. The National Sleep Foundation puts out guidelines for sleep required by age. Infants 0-2 years of age need the most sleep with a full 12 hours every night and at least a 2-hour nap during the day. Children 3-6 years also need a full 12 hours of sleep at night, without the daytime nap. When children reach ages 7-12 it is recommended they get 10-11 hours of sleep per night. Teenagers between the ages of 13-18 are still growing and developing, which means they still need at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Choose a bedtime that will help children get the recommended allotment of sleep for their age. Start your daily bedtime routine with plenty of time before they should be asleep. This helps to avoid feelings of scurrying around creating anxiety to meet the bedtime deadline. Avoid late nights that interrupt the pattern and try to keep the schedule as consistent as possible.
Bathe every night to create a routine. A warm, relaxing bath goes a long way in helping children unwind and start to feel ready for sleep. Bubbles with scented soap or bath oils are a good idea to create a serene environment. Some scents promote feelings of relaxation and sleepiness. These include jasmine, vanilla, lavender and anything else that brings you comfort or makes you feel at home. Continue to prepare for bedtime by keeping an established routine. Brush your child’s teeth, comb their hair or perform any other bedtime preparation in the same order every night.
Let your child have a comforting object for night time use. Every child has a beloved stuffed animal or a favorite blanket that warms their heart and provides them solace. Allow them to snuggle up at bedtime with their object of choice as a reward for keeping up their routine.
Play soft music, sing a soothing song, or read a book together. Even older children enjoy reading with their parents. With so many wonderful books to choose from, make it a habit to read together every night. Once in awhile tell children a story from your childhood or make up fun stories together. Unwinding with a quiet lullaby, a sweet story or some peaceful music can help to put their minds at ease and get them in the mood to sleep soundly.
Spend one on one time, even if for a few moments. Taking a few minutes each night to talk to your child is a powerful tool. Offer an uplifting compliment, pay attention to something that may be worrying them, or tell them something encouraging you noticed they accomplished that day. Children crave positive attention. As parents, it’s your job to give it to them. These moments of loving attention will help children of all ages to feel wanted, needed and loved. They will rest easier knowing they are cared for and have a responsible adult watching over them.
People all over the world treat celebrities as though they are a cut above. What happens to our opinion of these famous faces when we realize that they are real people just like us? Society loves to take normal, everyday circumstances, however unpleasant that they may be, and make people feel punished for them. Rumors are spread, lies are publicized and the truth is twisted to fit the majority prejudice. Lice are a normal part of life. Having lice is not some embarrassing social blunder or indiscretion. Chances are everyone will catch lice at least once in their lifetime. Yes, celebrities do, too! If they come into contact with someone that has lice, they will get lice. Don’t believe me? Ask these renowned ladies in Hollywood.
Heidi Klum is a German worldwide supermodel who has also developed a lengthy career in reality TV, has starred in several TV series, movies and commercials. She has been seen doing commercials for big names such as McDonald’s, Barbie and even Volkswagen. Above all else, Heidi is proud to be the mother of four beautiful children. As her children are all close together in age, it is no surprise to anyone that one of them contracted lice at school. Heidi confesses that this has not happened just once, but twice to her family. She is definitely not alone. In the United States every year 6 to 12 million children between the ages of 3 and 12 will be stricken with lice, according to the CDC. Heidi relates that she missed the head lice the first time it happened because she didn’t realize the miniscule size of an adult louse. They are no larger than a sesame seed. The general recommendation is to use a fine tooth comb to sift through the hair, or even a small magnifying glass to help you get a better look.
While appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in 2014 Jennifer Garner admitted publically that not only had her children been dealing with lice, but she and her husband, Ben Affleck, had caught lice as well because it was in their home. Jennifer goes into detail about receiving the dreaded phone call from the school nurse, dealing with at home treatments, and the embarrassment of letting her famous friends know what was going on. In her light-hearted interview, it is fun to consider human beings are all much more alike than we sometimes realize. Yes, she is a famous movie star worth millions of dollars. Despite that, at the end of the day life tosses us all difficulties and circumstances to overcome. Lice is not anything to be ashamed of.
A pop star icon of the 1990s, Britney Spears has been nicknamed the Princess of Pop. She became the best selling teenage artist of all time and is world renowned for her music and dancing skills. Ten years ago she came up against a lice problem that just would not go away. Friends closest to her suggest that after struggling to find a real solution to the problem Britney got fed up and simply shaved her head. No one can quite blame her, seeing as how being in the public eye can oftentimes be quite hard on young people especially. Media outlets went gaga publicizing her new look and pictures were all over the TV and internet. Luckily for B, itney her beautiful locks grew back. As for the rest of us, we can clearly see that celebrities are not immune to the harsh realities of life.
Long have human beings walked the earth, and for almost as long they have been followed by blood-sucking parasites that live and feed off of their human blood. Lice in many different forms have evolved and survived almost as long as the human race. How did they first effect our ancestors? What cultures have dealt with lice throughout the centuries?
Homo sapiens and Their Closest Relative, The Chimpanzee
Many years ago humans and apes were both afflicted with the same type of parasite, lice that equally impacted both species. The term commonly used today “nitpicking” comes from the act of a shrewdness of apes gathering to unremittingly pick the nits and lice off of one another. Interestingly enough, over time the term has come to mean someone who bothers us or points out every annoying flaw. Even still in our day, groups of apes use nitpicking as a prominent social time. How similarly do we believe our ancestor homo sapiens would’ve gathered together to help pick off the nits and lice that ate away at them? Scientists know that 5.5 million years ago species of lice separated off into two groups, one that lived off of apes and another that was prone to human life. Since then several species of lice have been developed that infect specific mammals, no two being carried by the same type. That is why animals do not pose a risk for the spread of head lice to humans.
The Ancient Egyptian
Throughout ancient Egypt, people were tormented with lice. Remedies for the common person included eating a special meal mixture with warm water, and then vomiting it up. Others believed a recipe of spices mixed with vinegar rubbed on the scalp over a few days would suffocate them out. For royalty and priests, their heads were no exception. The wisest and predominant members of society chose to simply shave their entire bodies. They wore beautiful, decorative headdresses and unique wigs to show their prosperity and power. Even today the Egyptian decorum is often imitated by stylists and fashionistas. Ironically, the Egyptian style was actually a way of warding off lice.
Among researchers the hygiene habits of people during the Medieval Era are debatable. Many believed hygiene was so inconvenient and difficult to retain that it was nonexistent. Others believe that people tried their best to stay clean and keep their bodies maintained. One fact that researchers do agree on is that lice were a common, household problem. Common for even the royal, higher society as well as the lower class living. Medieval folklore suggests that lard was used to try and suffocate lice and nits off of a scalp. Others propose simply keeping the hair combed through and clean was of so little a priority that no one even bothered with lice. The fashion of the day entailed long heads of hair, and long bearded faces making shaved heads, not a popular option. Some stories suggest that simple-minded folk believed if they wore fur coats and clothes that the lice would make their way down onto the warm fur. It may not have been a realistic cure for lice, but at least they would’ve been warm through the winter weather.
Early American Lice
All along the great American frontier people were plagued with lice. Areas where lice became most problematic were in soldiers quarters where men lived closely packed into dirty, unwashed and infested beds. Places where infectious diseases spread and large numbers of sickly people were placed together in hospital tents or wards would be a breeding ground for lice. Bones from animals were commonly used to create nitpicking combs. A soldier’s fort in Wisconsin from the early 1830’s was the source for a recent archaeological find of bone carved lice combs used by the soldiers. Sometimes in extreme cases, kerosene was used to kill lice and eggs.
Lice of the Early 20th Century and Today
During the outbreak of WW II, malaria-borne illnesses were being spread by mosquitos. Scientists fabricated a pesticide that proved to not only kill the mosquitoes but also eliminate lice and their eggs.
For decades these toxins have been placed into shampoos, sprays, and medicines and used by people all throughout the world. Modern studies show us that pesticides, insecticides, and harmful toxins can be breathed into the lungs or absorbed through the skin. Applications such as dehydration methods are a proven, effective, and safe method for the modern lice problem.
It used to be that parents would worry about kids getting lice by while playing hide and go seek or laying down together in the treehouse but now parents have a new thing to worry about: selfies. That’s right, kids are now getting lice by taking selfies with their phone.
Scientists recently studied over 200 children and found that children who own a smartphone or tablet are twice as likely to get head lice than children who do not own a smartphone or tablet. They found that the reason for this is children who have these devices, take more selfies with their friends, giving lice the perfect opportunity to crawl from head to head. Children may bump heads without even realizing it.
Head lice infestations have increased in older children because of selfies as well. It’s not only elementary school children who get lice anymore. Selfies really create a domino effect of spreading head lice. So next time you get ready to take a selfie, beware.
Selfies And Super Lice
With lice spreading rapidly in elementary schools and now middle schools and high schools as well, it’s important to find a safe and effective lice treatment. Almost all lice infestations these days comprise of super lice, meaning they have a resistance to over-the-counter lice treatments and many other lice removal shampoos. drugstore lice shampoos are ineffective and in fact, can have harmful side effects. It’s extremely important to get educated and stay away from these products.
Trying head lice treatments does not have to result in a dead-end failure. Our treatments have been medically tested and strategically created to treat lice without the use of harmful pesticides. We offer a guaranteed treatment using a device that blows warm air to dehydrate lice and their eggs. Our high quality, non-toxic treatment is the perfect solution to one-and-done lice removal. Our treatments won’t harm your children or the environment.
No matter which treatment you choose when your child gets lice, make sure that it is first, safe and 2nd, effective. And take selfies at your own risk.
Raising independent, self-sufficient and mentally stable kids requires looking through a long-term lens. Here are 5 tips for raising great children.
1. Let Your Kids Fail
As hard as it may be, we need to stand back at times and let our kids make mistakes. They will learn from them. If your child has the skills and abilities to complete a task on their own, let them do it without stepping in. Failing is a necessary part of growing.
2. Let them read what they want.
Encourage your children to read, no matter if it’s a comic book, non-fiction piece or mystical novel. Those who read excel academically.
3. Teach Your Children How To Serve Others
Children who learn to love helping others don’t grow up feeling entitled or selfish. Those who serve on a daily basis are happy and humble.
4. Stay Away From Paying Your Kids To Do Chores
Paying your children to make their bed or clean their room is not always the best strategy in the long run. Parenting expert and author, Alyson Schafer says children will start expecting to be paid for everything they do for you. They’ll think “why would I help my mom carry groceries when I can make my bed for $10?”
5. Set A Bedtime And Stick To It
A study published in 2013 in the journal Pediatrics found that seven-year-olds who had irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than did those with consistent bedtimes. Children do well with patterns, schedules, and consistency.
As hard as parenting is, try to think in terms of the future. What will help your child in the long-run? Parenting is hard but if we are dedicated to teaching and nurturing our children in a meaningful way, it will all be worth it when they are successful and happy.
Pediculosis, or infestation with the human head louse (pediculus humanus capitis), is one of the most common human parasitic infestations worldwide, especially among elementary school children. In the United States, about 6-12 million kids get head lice per year. Head lice can infest anyone’s hair, regardless of gender, nationality, race, or hygiene. Even the cleanest classrooms and the most sanitary households can be affected by head lice.
Here Are 9 Quick Facts About Head Lice
1. Head lice are parasitic insects that only attack humans. You won’t catch lice from the family pet, nor will you give lice to your family pet.
2. The most common way head lice spread is through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person. They can’t fly or jump. The second most common way they spread is through combs, brushes or hats.
3. Head lice are very small — about the size of a sesame seed. They can be tan, brown, or gray in color. They also lay eggs, called nits.
4. This parasite prefers a dark, warm environment and is often discovered behind the ears, under a ponytail and at the nape of the neck. They can also be found on eyebrows and eyelashes, but that isn’t as common.
5. Head lice stay alive by feeding on blood from the human scalp. They will die within 1 to 2 days after being off their host because they no longer have a food source.
6. A female louse can lay up to 10 eggs daily and they usually lay their eggs ¼” from the scalp.
7. Nits can often be mistaken for dandruff. But they are firmly attached to the hair shaft with a waterproof glue-like substance and won’t budge by simply shaking the hair. They must be individually pulled out, most effective with a lice comb.
8. Anyone can get head lice. Doesn’t matter your race, socioeconomic status or hair type. All they want is hair to attach to and blood to suck.
9. Males are less likely to get head lice than females because they typically have shorter hair. People who are bald will not contract head lice because they need hair to attach to.
A new Texas law requires public elementary schools to notify parents within five days if lice are discovered on someone in their child’s class.
The law, which was implemented on Sept. 1, requires schools to send home a notice to parents but they may not identify which child in the class has a lice infestation. This makes parents aware of the lice infestation while protecting the child from potential embarrassment or harassment.
The Law Is Written Under Senate Bill 1566
According to Senate Bill 1566, schools must also notify the parent of an infected child within 48 hours once a school nurse or administrator becomes aware of lice on the child.
The notice must also include head lice treatment recommendations, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even with the new requirements in place, The Texas Department of Health and Human Services says lice are not a public threat and do not carry diseases.
As lice experts, we have heard many lice horror stories. Oftentimes parents panic and try to treat lice with outrageous methods. We wouldn’t put coconut oil into that category but we also wouldn’t put it in the same category as our treatments. Nothing compares to going to a professional lice treatment. According to a clinical trial conducted by the Medical Entomology Centre, out of 50 patients, 41% of people were cured using a combination of coconut and anise spray, while 23% of people were cured using a permethrin-based over-the-counter treatment. This means coconut oil mixed with anise spray is more effective than drugstore lice treatments that are specifically made for lice. This is because of the super lice epidemic. Super lice have become resistant to many chemicals.
Coconut Oil Compared To Our AirAllé
While the coconut oil combination was effective on 41% of the people tested and a common over-the-counter treatment was effective on 23% of the tested individuals, our AirAllé® lice treatment is effective 99.2% of the time. So, in comparison, our treatment still beats the coconut oil/anise spray combination. In fact, our treatment beats any other lice treatment on the market. We combine out treatment with topical rinse and lice combing. If 100% precise, lice combing alone can be an effective. The problem is, it is near impossible to see every single nit with the naked eye and get every single one. If even one nit is left behind, you could have another lice infestation on your hands. This is why comb-out treatment alone is not reliable.
Coconut Oil Compared To Other Home Remedies
Coconut oil alone doesn’t do the trick, much like mayonnaise and tea tree oil. Although, it does not have as many harmful side-effects as mayonnaise and tea tree oil. Coconut oil is actually good for the hair and scalp. So if we were to compare which home remedy is the best option, coconut oil mixed with anise spray would be the most effective. But even so, why risk it when it might not work at all? Especially when we are sure that our AirAllé® treatment will work.