While the whole country is taking a time out from normal activities many people are opting to stay at home with their families. Our state and local leaders have asked us all to avoid unnecessary contact with others and stay at home to prevent the spreading of COVID-19. How does being homebound affect head lice?
Direct Head to Head Contact is Almost Inevitable
We recommend that at the start of this whole ordeal that you screen each member of your household for head lice. Head lice are most often passed from direct contact with the scalp of someone who has adult head lice or nits present. With extended periods of time that you are cuddling up on couches, reading books, sleeping late or binge-watching Netflix with your kiddos, there is definitely the chance head lice could be passed around your family. Encouraging hugs, helping with homework, sharing hairbrushes, using the same towel, or laying your heads together on a pillow: these are all scenarios parents will most likely find themselves in during the upcoming weeks with their children where head lice can be passed from one person to another.
Start With the Kids
Head lice most often occur in children between the ages of 3-10 because of their involvement with other children. Although this is true, we are seeing an influx of tweens and teens with head lice as well in recent years. As your kids are coming home from school for long periods of time, first double-check that they are not showing symptoms of head lice. This will go a long way in preventing head lice from spreading throughout your family members.
What Should I Look For?
The trick to finding head lice is knowing what to look for. Adult head lice scurry away quickly from sunlight and can burrow into skin or hair strands to avoid being found. We recommend using a nitpicking comb to sift through hair strands. Get a white towel and a bowl of clean water. Each time you comb through the hair wipe the nitpicking comb off onto the towel, and then clean it off in the bowl of water. Exam any findings on the white towel. Adult head lice are sesame seed-sized insects, brown in color and an active case of head lice will find on average about 15-30 adults on a scalp at a time.
Nits are a clear indication that you have head lice. Transparent or yellowish in color, lice eggs are cemented to the base of hair strands by the mother louse. She uses a glue-like secretion to stabilize her eggs to hair strands, preventing them from flaking off as dandruff would. The average female only mates once in her life and is able to lay eggs until she dies. Females lay between 7-10 eggs per day.
Itching on the scalp is a large symptom that could indicate a problem. Lice fecal matter and saliva leave traces on the scalp and irritate the skin. After several weeks of head lice living on the scalp, the itching will most likely start. Red, small bumps or irritations on the scalp are a sign of bite marks or rashes from head lice. Night time is the active period for head lice, so many children also have trouble sleeping because of the feeling of head lice crawling through their hair.
Remember, Head Lice Are Not a Health Hazard
Mosquitos can transfer Malaria and Nile Virus. Ticks can transfer Lyme Disease. Head lice do not transfer any disease or viruses. Head lice are a problem and a bother, but no one is seriously in danger.
Part of being a kid is curiosity. Children of all ages experience head lice infestations. Many of them may not have any idea what head lice is, how it is spread, or how they are going to get rid of it. Children often can become stressed and worry – are they dirty, are they gross, should they keep it a secret, do head lice hurt me?
These are all real questions that children experience. One amazing way to help them find answers and relieve some of that tension is to read about it! There are several fun, humorous and light-hearted books on the market that deal with the head lice topic. Based on your child’s age and needs here are a few to consider!
This is a series of books that dives right into the topics of scary, spooky and disgusting creatures that most kids might find fascinating to learn about. Bats, slugs, toads, spiders to name a few. And yes – even head lice!
Kids can learn interesting facts, weird realities and even silly scenarios that will help them understand head lice and laugh at the same time. This is great book for kids with an imagination and a funny bone.
Recommended Ages 4-8 years old, PreK-3 grade level
Another book that is sure to offer some comedic relief to the situation, this story deals with facts about head lice in the most unusual ways. A louse appearing with his suitcase and a mother ready to fight back with battle-tested lice weapons, this story shows kids this a problem they can solve!
Your child will soon be laughing and learning that they are certainly not the only child to have had a head full of lice.
Horrid Henry is a common name among most elementary school-age children. The stories of this nasty boy going through school and home with normal life problems and situations to deal with have become popular and loved by many teachers and students. Although this story does not accurately portray what a normal head lice situation would be like in real life, it is a fun twist for kids to realize that all kids, even Horrid Henry, are susceptible to head lice. No doubt you might have to talk to your kid about the realities of head lice, but offering some laughter to deal with their emotions can be nothing but positive.
The only thing worse than knowing your kid has head lice is worrying about telling other parents the truth to be sure their kids are not infected as well. Our advice, grit your teeth and get it done! Parents of your children’s friends and teammates will most often be more supportive than anything. Chances are, you are not the only family in your circle of friends, classmates or teammates that are dealing with head lice.
Should I Break the Head Lice News to Other Parents?
Think about what you would prefer someone to do if the roles were reversed? If a child in your circle of friends was dealing with a head lice infection, wouldn’t you want to be privy to that information? This is not about who is better, cleaner, or more socially accepted than others. This is about the health and safety of our families. Of course, we should always keep our kids in mind and make sure to do this in a kind, non-threatening way so that they are not taunted or bullied. Keeping it as tight-lipped as possible is important, we are not saying information like this should be posted on social media or broadcast to the entire school, necessarily.
Head Lice Is Significantly Easier To Stop Early On
The best thing you can do – don’t hesitate! Come up with a script or a few ideas on what you can say to break up any possible tension, and go for it. Head lice can take up to four weeks to manifest symptoms. That means that children who are frequently together at classes, team meetings, playgroups, or even just as friends have a higher chance of passing on head lice to those friends without even knowing they have head lice. The sooner you let other parents know of your situation, the more easily they will be able to cure head lice in their child. Who knows? Maybe your child caught it from theirs, and they were too embarrassed to tell anyone. Communication is essential to stopping head lice in your area.
Head Lice Does Not Make You Dirty or Gross
The truth is actually just the opposite. Head lice are more drawn to clean hair because they are more easily able to grasp the strands. Head lice is the second most common communicable disease in elementary school-age children. This is a common problem that can affect anyone. Any mature, caring adult can understand that.
Be Empowered With Information
Before you venture into the conversation with other parents, arm yourself with the facts about head lice. Lice Clinics of Texas has valuable information on our website available to you so that you understand exactly what you are dealing with and the best ways to prevent and cure it. Share this information with other parents and save them the headache and stress of not knowing!
Send a Letter, Email or Group Message Anonymously Through the Teacher, Leader, or Coach
Some parents may not feel comfortable speaking to other parents. Whether that is the case or you just don’t have the time, a common trend is for letters to be sent out through email or with coaches/teachers of groups. This way the parents/child dealing with head lice can still be left anonymous if they choose, and everyone is equally informed of the information they need to prevent lice in their homes.
Call Lice Clinics of Texas today, where we can answer any questions you may have, help keep you informed and offer the support you need during this stressful situation.
Love is in the air this month as we think about all the people who mean the most to us. We are proud to say that many patients from our clinics have nothing but LOVE for us! We appreciate our customers so much! We LOVE our community and the people we serve!
Here’s what parents are LOVING about Lice Clinics of Texas:
-Appointments Available When You Need Them
We offer quick appointments to help you get to a faster solution. When it comes to head lice, many people struggle for weeks or months trying to solve the problem on their own. After trying nitpicking with a comb, over the counter shampoos, or cleaning the home for several weeks…parents are left with a reoccurring and seemingly endless head lice problem!
Guaranteed head lice free in 90 minutes?! Parents are LOVING that option!
-Three Convenient Locations
You will find our Lice Clinics of Texas locations in San Antonio, Austin, and Houston to serve you! We are easy to find and right around the corner to supply you with the best, most up to date and effective lice treatment options available on the market today.
-Friendly, Caring and Dedicated Staff
So many parents walk away from our Lice Clinics of Texas relieved that they got the help they needed without feeling judged or put down! There is no reason to feel bad for having head lice! We get it! Head lice happen to the best of us! No one on our staff is here to criticize you or the situation. We are here to support you through it and eliminate your head lice problem for good!
Our technicians are all trained to spot head lice and nits, apply the best treatment option to end your specific problem and help you understand tips and tricks to avoid head lice in the future. Dedicated to you and knowledgeable, what more could you ask for in a Lice Clinic?
-No More Head Lice!
We are so confident that our treatment works and lasts that if you notice head lice or nits again within 6 weeks of receiving your treatment, we will treat you again for FREE!
Many parents automatically think that because the weather turns colder, head lice die off. What happens to head lice during the winter? Is head lice still a problem I should be worried about?
What You Need to Know About Head Lice and Winter
Head Lice Do Not Die-Off
Head lice are still active and spreading throughout the winter months. Why do head lice stick around when the weather is colder when other insects don’t? Lice are human parasites. As long as the humans they inhabit are warm they are happy! Head lice need a host to provide shelter, warmth, humidity and food supply. Most people spend their time indoors and therefore lice are not left out in the elements to die. Their human host keeps them alive and well.
Cold Weather Doesn’t Change How Head Lice Spread
Summer camp, back to school, and spring break are all major times we see a spike in the spread of head lice. Without a doubt winter breaks fall in the same category. Children may not be outside on playgrounds or sharing swimming towels, but they are spending time with family or friends in closer confined areas doing various activities through the winter months indoors. Spreading of head lice can happen just as easily as other times.
What Should I Know To Prevent Spreading of Head Lice This Winter?
Knowing some of the biggest risks is a great way to avoid head lice. Vacations spent at cousin’s houses or visiting overnight with friends are a common risk. Make sure to pack your own pillows, blankets, and towels to help prevent spreading infection. Also, wash bedding as soon as your little one returns home to be extra cautious.
Winter Clothing and School Gear Should Not Be Shared
Hats, gloves, scarves, hoodies and beanies are all a source for spreading lice or nits during the winter. Have you ever walked into your child’s ballet or parkour class and seen a huge pile of shoes, socks, sweaters, and hoodies on the floor? Kids don’t think about keeping their belongings away from other items that could have head lice. Teach them to hang up their stuff and keep it away from the pile-up of potentially head lice-infested clothing of their teammates. Sharing winter gear as you enjoy the outside sports is also not recommended. Wash gear or place in warm dryer for 20 minutes to kill any head lice or nits that could be transferred to your child.
Contact Lice Clinics of Texas with any further questions, concerns or advice aboutwinter cases of head lice! We are your trusted source for prevention, elimination and all things head lice!
Parents are often diligent about teaching children not to share brushes or combs to prevent head lice. Most kids even know that sharing hats, hoodies or helmets is not a good idea. Yet, have you ever stopped to think about all the other ways head lice could easily be passed from one person to the next?
Although children are much more likely to contract head lice, anyone of any age is at risk if they come into contact with a louse or nit. Head lice do not fly or jump. They crawl from hair strand to hair strand. If a person infected with head lice is inhabiting a seat long enough, it is highly probable that a louse or two could have found its way onto the seat cushions, just waiting for a new human host.
Here are a few places you might want to think twice about the next time you visit them.
Even if you are traveling to a short destination, flight times can be plenty of time for head lice to make their way onto seatbacks. Have you ever asked for a pillow or blanket on a particularly long flight? So have hundreds of other people who could potentially have had head lice. Flight crews are required to lightly clean planes between flights. But, airlines admit, deep cleaning of planes does not happen daily or even often. In fact, they get deep cleaned a lot less often than you would think, usually about every 100 days depending on the airline. If an airline has up to five flights per day on a plane, think of all those passengers coming and going from a single seat. It’s enough to make you start scratching your head.
Head lice are most commonly passed on through direct head to head contact. The second most common way they are transferred is through items that head lice are lingering on. For example, if a person with head lice is sitting in a movie theater recliner for the duration of a movie, it is likely that an adult louse would find it’s way onto the seat cushion. That could mean that the next person to sit in that chair would be easily accessible to provide the louse a new host. Without a human host, lice will die within 24 hours. They are always looking for the warmth and sustenance that humans provide.
Before you grab your popcorn and soda, you might consider wiping down the seat headrest as a precaution. At the very least, don’t be gullible enough to think you could never catch head lice.
Gym Class and Locker Rooms
Not all people think to look for head lice at the gym. Yet, people bring personal items, use towels and leave items laying around all over locker rooms and gym floors. Do you share a locker with a friend at your gym? Do you make sure to use a clean towel at every workout? Have you ever thought to deep clean your gym bag or equipment? Head lice are definitely something that can be passed on from your encounters at the gym. Take notice next time, and steer clear of possible head lice risks.
Many experts agree that direct head to head contact is much riskier than these types of scenarios. However, they do happen, and people do contract head lice from places that head lice have fallen off onto or crawled onto. Check yourself for head lice and ensure that your household stays head lice free.
Don’t know what to look for? Contact Lice Clinics of Texas for a head screening. We can show you how to look for head lice and give you advice on treatment options.
Everyone seems to have busy schedules, too much to do and too little time to do it these days. With working busy jobs, raising children with their own schedules and juggling family time as well, a bad case of head lice in your home can seem almost unbearable to manage.
Take a deep breath, sit back and remember, you are not in this alone. Here at Lice Clinics of Texas, we want you to know these five important points.
5 Reasons Head Lice Shouldn’t Get You Down
#1 – Head Lice Are a Nuisance, Not a Public Health Hazard.
Head lice are a problem and a bother, but no one is seriously in danger. Although in rare cases, infection and problems can occur from untreated irritations on the scalp, if you are working to correct the problem the likelihood of that happening is incredibly low.
Head lice are not known to transmit any disease and therefore are not considered a health hazard. Symptoms will occur with 4 to 6 weeks of the initial infection. Most often the worst thing that comes from head lice is irritated, red sores on the scalp from bites and scratching. Yes, you definitely need to treat head lice. But no, no one is in serious harm.
#2 – Head Lice is Very Common. You Are Not Alone.
Every year in the United States alone up to 12 million children will get head lice. That number is on the rise for all kids, including teens. Why? New super lice are showing strong immunities to over the counter treatments. This is increasing cases of head lice in elementary schools, middle schools, and even high schools. Teens sharing electronic devices and catching head lice from younger siblings is something we are seeing more and more as well.
#3 – Head Lice is a Right of Passage.
Head lice do not mean that you are dirty or gross. Science has proven that head lice are no respecter of persons and like dirty or clean hair alike. In fact, some studies have shown they actually prefer clean hair in certain scenarios because it is easier to claw their way around from strand to strand. Regardless, it is no indication of your social status or hygiene habits.
Getting a case of head lice is a problem that builds character, helps keep us grounded, and reminds us that we are all really the same. Vulnerable, susceptible, human beings who need each other. No one is better than anyone else. No one is more important than anyone else. We are all here, experiencing life and learning from these daily lessons. A child or household that catches head lice has to learn how to face this challenge head-on, quite literally.
#4 – School Policies Are Changing
Many schools are changing their tune after the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just updated their guidelines, saying that kids with lice should not be banned from school. Instead, they have suggested that children showing mild symptoms or nits should be allowed to attend school, notify parents that they require treatment during the evening, and they are allowed back into school as soon as the next day.
Although this does raise some eyebrows, and some people are contesting it, many people actually believe this is an improvement. Children do not need to feel banished from their classmates any longer. They don’t need to miss extensive days of school and be publically called out for having head lice. As long as the parents are actively trying to eliminate it, they do not pose a huge threat to classmates.
#5 – Lice Clinics of Texas is Your BEST resource
Never before have generations of parents had Lice Clinics of Texas at their disposal when dealing with head lice in their family. We provide a support system for you like no other place available. We know what you are dealing with! We have solutions to your head lice concerns! We deal with head lice on a daily basis and can be here for you during this stressful scenario!
Head lice are a nuisance. A problem that many families across the world deal with. In fact, it is such a common problem that most people will deal with head lice at least once in their lifetime. If you know what head lice are, how they live and how to identify them you can much more easily recognize when a case of head lice hits your home. Nits or eggs are where the problem begins. These fast facts will help you win the battle against head lice!
Fact #1 – Head lice lay eggs, called nits, very close to the scalp. Usually 6 mm within the actual scalp of their host.
Fact #2 – The nit is glued onto a single hair strand with a secretion from the female that makes it much more difficult to remove than a piece of dandruff. It is literally cemented onto the hair strand for protection.
Fact #3 – Nits need the warmth of a human host to survive. If they are knocked off or removed they will die and wither away within 24 hours if a new host is not found.
Facts #4 – Nits are extremely small, making them difficult to see. They are .8 mm by.3 mm in size, oval and colored a yellowish-white, making them almost transparent.
Fact #5 – Because of their transparent color, nits are often seen as the color of the hair of the person they infect. This can make them even more camouflaged and difficult to identify.
Fact #6 – Nits take close to a week to hatch. Anywhere from 6 to 9 days on average.
Fact #7 – Once an egg has hatched, the shell of that egg remains connected to the hair strand, often appearing more white in color as it is now just an empty casing.
Fact #8 – Nits need to be peeled off of the hair strand, and will not simply flake off, as would a piece of dried dandruff or excess hairspray.
Fact #9 – A single female louse can lay up to 8 nits per day. This means that within a week just one adult female can invade a scalp with close to 60 nits. The average case of head lice is not identified until close to 20 adult lice are present. That is a lot of eggs being laid per day.
Fact #10 – Most commonly head lice are passed through direct head to head contact. However, passing a nit from one person to another is possible through sharing combs, brushes, hats, towels, or any other items that could potentially be a carrier.
Still have questions or concerns? Lice Clinics of Texas is your BEST source for all things head lice. We are your local source for prevention, elimination, and helpful advice during your head lice outbreak. Call our knowledgeable staff today to find some answers.
Parents all over the country are hearing rumors of super lice sweeping across schools. Reports of head lice that are showing strong immunities to treatment, aka super lice, have been reported in every state across the country. Many parents are concerned about the coming year. Are super lice still a problem in 2020?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 12 million children between the ages of 3-11 will be inflicted with head lice this year in the United States. Due to super lice, that number is clearly on the rise from previous years. What do you need to know about keeping your child safe from super lice? Take a look at our suggestions for keeping your kid head lice free.
Perform Regular Scalp Checks on your Children.
It can be tricky to catch head lice early on, but checking regularly for symptoms is the best way to ensure you catch head lice before it spreads throughout your household. Nit combs are an awesome resource for looking through your child’s hair for head lice. Nit combs are available to purchase at any Lice Clinics of Texas location or online through many other stores.
Start by getting a warm bowl of water, a nit comb, and a white towel or paper towel. Go through your child’s scalp looking for symptoms of head lice or nits. Use the nit comb to sweep through a section of hair, wipe the contents from the comb onto the white towel so they are more clearly visible, and then rinse the comb off in the bowl. Keep in mind that head lice most often stay near the nape of the neck, behind the ears or at the crown of the head.
Clear indications of head lice include sesame seed-sized adult lice, nits or lice eggs, red rashes, bite marks or irritations on the scalp.
Talk to Your Kids About Not Catching Head Lice.
Kids are never going to stop and think about the dangers of head lice on their own. They are only concerned with friends and fun! As a parent, take the time to remind children of the possibility of head lice. Teach children that head lice are spread most often through direct head to head contact. However, they can also be passed along through clothing or shared items: hats, hoodies, helmets, towels, blankets, pillows, earbuds, etc. Try to help young teens understand that when they are using handheld electronic devices they should be cautious to not push heads together with other friends who are also viewing the screen.
Get Informed About the Facts.
Contact school nurses or administration to ask questions. Information is power. If you are aware that an outbreak is occurring in your child’s school you will be ahead of the game. Talk to other parents, talk to teachers, be sure to keep in the loop.
Keep Kid’s School Gear Lice-Free.
Take your child’s backpack, winter hats, gloves, scarves, coats, and any other articles they take to school regularly sanitize them weekly. This could be done by simply washing items in a washing machine. This could also be done in a hot dryer for 20 minutes to kill any possible nits or head lice infecting items.
Head lice outbreaks are something every family hopes they won’t have to deal with as they raise their families. Yet, it is a common childhood problem that seems to actually be getting worse. In the United States alone, up to 12 million children between the ages of 3-11 will become infected with head lice during 2019. Not to mention the spike in head lice outbreaks that have been reported across the country at over 30% in tweens and teens as head lice hit middle schools, Jr. Highs and High Schools at a much higher rate than previous years.
Why the sudden rise in head lice outbreaks?
Super lice are head lice that have developed an immunity to over the counter head lice products like powders, shampoos or sprays. These products contain an ingredient calledpyrethrin, pesticides found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. They are a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects: pyrethrin I, pyrethrin II, cinerin I, cinerin II, jasmolin I, and jasmolin II. Pyrethrins are also often used to control mosquitoes, fleas, flies, moths, ants, and many insects that annoy humans.
For many years health care providers, parents, and caregivers have misused, overused or abused products that contain pyrethrin. By applying the products more often than necessary, or more abundantly than necessary the head lice have actually become immune to pyrethrin. This immunity is the reason the nation has nicknamed them super lice- they seem impossible to get rid of.
Why are teens and tweens more at risk than ever before?
Teens and tweens are seeing the effects of this for a number of reasons. If a teenager has a younger sibling they are much more likely to catch head lice at any time because of the direct head to head contact with a child who is infected in their own home. As more and more younger children are catching super lice, their older siblings are at much more of a risk as well. That fact doesn’t stop with teens! Adults and seniors who live with small children are also susceptible.
As their older age group becomes more and more tech-savvy they are also passing along more and more head lice. Everywhere you look you see young people with smart devices, phones, laptops or any number of electronic communication devices. Headphones, small shared screens, and selfies are all to blame for more direct head to head contact with other teens. More contact obviously means more chances for head lice infections.
Super lice are much more difficult to eliminate. But not impossible!
Super lice are posing a huge problem for millions of parents across the nation. After weeks and sometimes months of trying home remedies, over the counter shampoos, or natural products, parents are literally scratching their heads over what to do that will actually work! Pyrethrins are not working effectively, the head lice are not being killed. The lice eggs, or nits, are continuing to hatch and create a whole new batch of head lice every life cycle. What is a parent to do? How can we combat these super lice? Call Lice Clinics of Texas, as soon as possible.