The last few years have been significant for the head lice industry. Lice Clinics of America has been instrumental in helping hundreds of thousands of people deal with head lice in their cities. Recently, many clinics have evaluated their treatments and lice incidents from the past years and determined this year there is a significant increase in the head lice cases being treated. On average, about a 30% increase in head lice across the United States.
Across the country, many areas are reporting even larger spikes in head lice outbreaks. In March of this year, the San Francisco Bay area reported that they are seeing significant increases in head lice. Washington state and Texas are showing dramatic increases, up to 80% more head lice reported than in years past in portions of the state.
How Are Head Lice Spreading So Rampantly?
The head lice we are currently dealing with are not the head lice of past generations. What does that mean? Parents for the past decades have relied on store-bought shampoos and powders to eliminate head lice. They didn’t really take the time to understand how to safely eliminate head lice and nits without harsh chemicals and substances. As a result, the active ingredient in these products, pyrethrum, has become obsolete as head lice have developed a strong immunity to it over the decades.
Over the Counter Shampoos Do Not Kill Super Lice
After forty years of misusing head lice shampoos and overusing head lice shampoos, we are now seeing the devastating consequences. Head lice are more resilient, much more difficult to kill, and more people are clueless as to how to get rid of the problem.
When more parents are failing at eliminating head lice, more children are contracting it. Schools are reporting significant increases in head lice cases. While at the same time, school districts are becoming much more lax about no-nit policies in school. Therefore, children of school age are much more prone to catching head lice and passing those head lice on to the adults living in their household.
What Is To Be Done?
“If you have school-age children in a region where lice infestations have been reported, it’s important to take some immediate steps to either prevent your children from being infested or properly treat and kill the lice before they spread to others in your family and social group,” said Dr. Krista Lauer, medical director of Lice Clinics of America.
She offers these steps to ensure your children are head lice free:
Inspect your child’s head at home, especially if your child has an itchy scalp. Look for eggs, nymphs and adult lice. One adult louse can lay about 100 eggs during her life span. That’s a lot of new lice.
Call the parents of your child’s friends and have them check for head lice, remembering that earlier intervention can help to reduce the infestation level.
If you see lice—or if you are unsure whether you have lice—visit a professional lice treatment center.
Remember, traditional over-the-counter treatments contain pesticides that are no longer effective. Lice have evolved into “super lice” and have developed resistance to those pesticides. Find a treatment that is safe and effective. Lice Clinics of America has many from which to choose.
Be safe this season by starting your child on a lice prevention regimen using trusted lice prevention products such as shampoos, conditioners, sprays and hair bands that will help to keep lice away from your child’s scalp.