As the family gathers together this Holiday season many parents are completely unaware that head lice can be a major problem during this time of year. With presents to wrap, cookies to bake, decorations to bring out and a million other things to get ready the last thing on most parents mind is preventing head lice outbreaks in their home. However, this time of year is no exception when it comes to the transferring of head lice, especially when cousins and family members come to stay!
Did You Know?
Children between the ages of 3-10 are more susceptible to head lice than any other age group.
People catch head lice most commonly through direct head to head contact. This means Christmas hugs, sleeping next to cousins in sleeping bags, or sitting by each other reading Christmas stories.
The next most significant way head lice are spread is through the sharing of articles of clothing or items that are carrying head lice or nits, lice eggs. Did your niece or nephew forget their hairbrush? Maybe you don’t want your kids to share when it comes to daily hygiene items.
Other items that pass on lice often are sweatshirts or hoodies, towels, pillows, stuffed animals, winter headgear or hair ties and accessories.
Head lice symptoms can take up to three weeks to manifest. By then, usually, a full-on head lice problem is apparent.
Adults that live in the same home as small children between the ages of 3-10 are much more likely to catch head lice.
Dogs, cats or any pets do not play any role in the transfer of head lice.
Winter time means that a lot of insects or parasites are dormant because of the cold temperatures, but not head lice. As long as they have a warm human host to keep them alive it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.
What Can I Do To Prevent Head Lice This Holiday?
Take the time to speak with children about the dangers of sharing accessories or items that can carry traces of nits or head lice.
Check your children’s scalp thoroughly before the holidays to ensure that they are not already carrying head lice.
Symptoms to watch for: red bumps or bites along the scalp, rashes and irritations on the scalp, itching that seems to worsen with time, and white, oval eggs that are laid on individual hair strands near the base of the scalp.
Make sure each person has their own pillow, blanket, towel and area to sleep. After guests leave it is recommended to wash all items in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to kill off any potential eggs or head lice.
Check your children’s head for any traces of head lice 2-3 weeks after the holidays to ensure no head lice were picked up during the Christmas vacation.
Lice Clinics of America is your BEST source for prevention and elimination of head lice. We care about your well being and want to help you get over this problem quickly and effectively. Give us a call today to talk through your questions!
Lice Clinics of America is the industry leader in technology and professional lice removal services. Time and time again we see and treat people who believe misinformation about head lice.
Be in the know with these 5 Head Lice Misconceptions #1 Myth: Personal Hygiene Plays a Role in Head Lice
Truth: Head lice can happen to anyone. Human parasites like head lice do not show favoritism to a certain gender, race, age, social class or physical type. The reality is that anyone with hair is at risk of being infected with head lice in their lifetime. Head lice are much more common in children, because of the way they interact, but this has nothing to do with hygiene or social class. Head lice have not shown any preference to clean or dirty hair in scientific studies. In fact, washing hair with soap and water does not eliminate them either because they are capable of holding their breath for up to 8 hours.
#2 Myth: My Pet Gave My Child Head Lice Truth: Believe it or not, pets do not pose any risk for carrying or transferring head lice. They are strictly a human parasite.
#3 Myth: Head Lice Carry Diseases or Viruses
Truth: Head lice do not pose a public health risk. They are a huge inconvenience, cause irritation and need to be dealt with promptly. However, they are not carriers of diseases or viruses that could potentially be harmful or cause long-term illness. Bite marks, rashes, irritations or swollen bumps can be a symptom of head lice. Once in a while if left untreated open sores are scratched too often, and infection can occur. These are treated with creams or antibodies and do not pose a serious health problem.
#4 Myth: Head Lice Can Jump
Truth: Parasites often do scare many people into believing a lot of things. One very common misconception is that head lice can fly or jump around like little fleas. This is untrue. They are physically incapable of jumping. The end of their six legs is equipped with a claw that allows them to crawl from hair strand to hair strand. This is how they move from person to person or from a person’s head to clothing or furniture.
#5 Myth: Weeks After An Infection Bed or Couches are Contaminated Truth: Head lice that fall off of a scalp, or nits that are transferred off of a human scalp will die if they do not receive food and warmth within 24 hours. It is extremely important to thoroughly launder and clean areas that could possibly have traces of head lice or nits. However, after 24 hours time nits or head lice are dead and cannot reinfect another person.
Keep yourself informed with our weekly Lice Clinics of America blog! We are always here to answers any questions you may have about head lice. Call our office today to share your concerns or find the answers you are looking for!
When it comes to protecting our children from harm parents are best prepared when armed with knowledge. With that in mind, we threw together Five Facts Parents Should Know to guard their family against head lice.
Fact #1 – Adult Head Lice Anatomy
Head lice are very small, parasitic bugs about the size of a sesame seed. They feed off of human blood through the scalp several times per day. If a louse is knocked off of a host, it must feed within 1 to 2 days to survive. Head lice are light brown in color and can blend in well with most hair colors, making them sometimes very difficult to spot. They scurry quickly away from direct light as well with claws attached to the end of each of their six legs. Female adult lice lay several hundred eggs in their 30-day life cycle.
Fact #2 – The Truth about Nits
Head lice eggs are called nits. Nits, yellowish white in color are laid very near the base of the scalp and are attached to single hair strands with a glue-like secretion that makes them difficult to dust or blow off. This is one of the best indications that you are dealing with nits and not dandruff or skin flakes. They will not brush off easily, rather they literally need to be peeled from the hair strand. Nits hatch with 7-9 days of being laid and a whole new generation of head lice begins to feed and grow.
Fact #3 – Head Lice Are A Pest and Nuisance
Some people believe that head lice pose health risks. Other people believe that treatment is not necessary because head lice actually do not pose health risks. Head lice are not considered a danger, yet if left untreated skin irritations from allergic reactions and bites can become infected. Although not significantly risky, sometimes medications are required to heal the infections. We recommend treatment for head lice as soon as possible once an infection is found. Especially because head lice are highly contagious and can easily be passed on from person to person in a household. Not treating head lice will lead to major infestations that are passed onto to many other victims.
Fact #4 – How Are Head Lice Transferred?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the number one way people contract head lice is through direct head to head contact. This can mean any number of ways including a hug, sharing a seat, reading a book together on a bean bag, or even just brushing up against someone in a crowd. Nits and lice are prevalent on the nape of the neck, hooked onto clothing items, directly on the scalp and holding onto hair strands. For this reason, items that infected people use frequently that come into contact with the hair are the second most common way head lice are transferred. This means hats, coats, towels, brushes, hair ties, or any other items that could be carrying lice or nits. Children are the most at risk for head lice, especially those within the ages of 3-10. This is because of the time they spend around other children in close-knit places such as daycares, schools or homes.
Fact #5 – Lice Clinics of America Is Your Best Resource for Head Lice Treatment
Without a doubt, Lice Clinics of America is your fastest and most effective way to eliminate head lice from your home. The future of head lice removal is the technology used by Lice Clinics of America, the AirAllé head lice treatment. This method uses dehydration to simply kill and eliminate all head lice on the scalp and their nits. Other methods will leave you with weeks of worry as new nits hatch and produce a whole new generation of head lice. Our staff will give you the best options for fast results to help you solve your head lice worries quickly! Call us today.
Have you noticed your child scratching their head lately? Do they complain of an itchy and irritated scalp? Maybe you are concerned they might have a head lice problem but are thinking it could just be something you can ignore? Won’t the head lice just die off on their own?
Head lice need to be treated effectively to take care of the problem. Here is why head lice won’t just fade away with time.
Head Lice Are Extremely Contagious
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 6-12 million children in the United States will have a case of head lice this year alone. Most of these children are between the ages of 3-10. That means that any older kids, adults or elderly people sharing a home with these children are also at a much higher risk for infection. It is rare that only one person in a household will contract lice once it is initially brought into the home.
Head lice are most commonly passed on through direct head to head contact. A hug, sharing a book together on the couch, taking a picture or just watching your favorite TV show together in a recliner are all ways head lice can be easily passed on from family members. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not checking everyone in the family for head lice. If you do not, the problem will just continue to be passed along from person to person until you eventually have everyone treated.
Understand the Life Cycle of Head Lice
The average life cycle of a louse is 30 days. Once lice find their way onto a human host they begin to lay eggs. Females become fully mature after about two weeks. At this point, they will lay up to 10 eggs per day on a scalp. The nits, or eggs, will take 7-9 days to hatch. As those nymphs or young head lice mature they will molt several different times while they grow and develop into adults. Each female that matures will then began laying up to 10 eggs per day as well. You can see how the problem could escalate quickly. To think that head lice will just die off on their own is absolutely false.
Head Lice are Not Controlled by Hygiene or Home Remedies
Head lice have the unique ability to hold their breath for up to 8 hours. Because of this regular shampooing and water does not have an effect on the head lice. Not to mention that nits are stuck to hair strands with a glue-like secretion that makes them hard to remove. Simply rinsing the hair out or washing the hair out will not eliminate the eggs either. According to MedicoRx home remedies such as trying to suffocate the head lice with mayonnaise are not effective options because of their ability to hold their breath so long. These things simply will not work and the problem will escalate.
Nitpicking can be a grueling process
While nitpicking is an encouraged way to make sure that lice do not return, it is not effective in eliminating a problem initially. For a human to go through every strand of hair and find every nit or louse it is almost impossible to be 100% accurate. Dandruff, skin flakes from dry skin or shampooing residue can leave white flakes that look similar to nits. Therefore, it is difficult sometimes for parents to even identify what the nits are and what are not. Nitpicking is encouraged to determine if you have a problem with head lice. It is not an effective tool to completely defeat head lice at home by yourself.
Here’s How We Can Help
Lice Clinics of America take great pride in the fact that we help our customers get rid of their head lice once and for all. Why go through weeks of torment if head lice are just going to return with home remedies or over-the-counter products that don’t work? We offer the latest technology in head lice removal at affordable prices that will be well worth your time and money. Contact our offices today to schedule your appointment with a professional who knows how to help you with your head lice problem.
Children who attend public or private schools are at a higher risk of catching infectious illnesses that are easily passed around. Before the intense winter months hit, read up on these common childhood illnesses and learn how you can prevent and recognize them in your child.
This highly contagious disease is passed through schools and children by infected items that children commonly touch throughout the day. Bathrooms, doorknobs, books, or various items at school become contaminated and it can spread like wildfire. Although not considered a serious illness, HFMD causes painful blisters in the mouth, throat, and tongue, making it difficult to eat. Children also experience high fevers and a rash that can spread throughout the body but is initially noticed on the hands and feet. Washing hands often and thoroughly is important in preventing the spread of this. Disinfecting surfaces will also play a major role in stopping the spread of it.
Head lice are small, sesame seed-sized insects that crawl from hair strand to hair strand with claws at the tip of their legs. They lay nits, or eggs, near the base of the scalp that are white in color and firmly glued to hair strands to prevent them from flaking off easily. Head lice are easily transferred through direct head to head contact, sharing clothing, or hair accessories. Initial symptoms will include, irritation on the scalp, redness, itchiness and the appearance of nits. Many people erroneously believe that head lice become dormant in winter months. In fact, they are active all through the year and can be passed on through winter months as well.
When your child wakes up in the morning with yellow crust causing the eyelid to be glued shut, this is a clear indication they have contracted conjunctivitis. A highly contagious infection, this is normally passed by children touching infected objects and then rubbing their eye. Most people will become infected with this several times throughout their life, especially small children in schools. To effectively cure it, a prescription eye drop is required.
Unlike other types of sore throats, strep throat requires antibiotics to clear up. It is usually diagnosed from the resulting swollen neck lymph nodes and a lab test done at your doctor’s office. Commonly spread in school-age children through mucus or coming in contact with contaminated items, over 3 million school-age children will deal with strep throat yearly. Initially, sore throat, slight fever, loss of appetite and possible upset stomach will be the first symptoms to show.
Sometimes the worst part of having head lice in your home is dealing with the gossip from the neighbors! Parents can wonder, who do I really have to tell, and when? We understand that the whole situation can bring added stress to you and your child. With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips for taking the proper action.
Communicate with Your Child First
We don’t want our children to feel like they can’t trust us. Take the time to sit down and talk with your child about the issue. Help them understand that head lice are highly contagious, therefore it is essential that you let a few, trusted adults know who will handle the problem delicately. Make sure they feel like you are using discretion and handling the situation responsibly. Talk to your child also about not feeling like they need to tell the whole classroom. Some kids can be cruel and bullying might result. Ultimately, remind your child that head lice happens. It is not something to really be embarrassed about. Most people will experience a case of head lice in their lifetime.
Wouldn’t You Want To Know?
The best way to go about determining which parents you should contact, and which parents can be left out of the loop is to ask yourself when and where could their child have been affected. If your child has spent time playing, hanging around or associating with their child it is best to contact them. It is proper and good to ask them to use discretion and not repeat it to others. Think to yourself, would I want them to tell me if the situation was reversed, and you can’t go wrong. When you do contact the adults that need to know, it may actually turn out to be a blessing! Sometimes people you don’t know about are also dealing with head lice and could appreciate a friend to talk to.
Teachers and School Nurses Can Help
Teachers are quite aware of the dangers of head lice and the commonality of it as well. Don’t be afraid to let your child’s teacher know the situation. The school nurse can also be a great resource for you in giving you information and helping you determine when your child should safely return to school. The majority of head lice cases that deal with school-age children can be traced back to school or school-related activities. If you want to get a handle on the problem, contacting the school is a must. However, be sure to talk to the teacher about notifying parents of the issue, and not the culprit. Actually, there is really no way to know how the initial infection got started. No one person is to blame. You may even be surprised how many children in the classroom are dealing with head lice or have dealt with it recently.
Lice Clinics of America is Your Best Resource
We have expert professionals who deal with head lice outbreaks every day. Our staff can help you determine the best solution for your head lice problem, and give you real answers to getting rid of head lice once and for all. We are always here to answer your questions and help you be free from the stress of head lice. Contact us today to get started!
No matter how spooky your costume is this Halloween, an even scarier thought is bringing home head lice after a haunting night of fun and festivities. When ghosts and goblins, vampires and zombies unite for games, dancing, and trick or treating fun, the truth is that head lice happens more often than people realize. At Lice Clinics of America, we always see a spike in head lice outbreaks during the scariest time of year.
Why do head lice outbreaks occur during Halloween time?
Kids compare costumes and try on each other’s costumes for fun.
Children wearing masks can’t resist passing it around to their friends for everyone to have a turn.
Wigs and hats that are part of spooky ensembles are likely to be shared as they can also be fun to try on and wear together.
Anytime that children are spending time together, those involved are more susceptible to catching head lice.
How can I protect my child against head lice this Halloween?
As a parent that the most important thing you can do is to educate your child. It is almost impossible, however, to prevent head lice 100%. Yet, a simple reminder that sharing headgear, costumes, robes, wigs or outerwear for the cold is not a good idea can help you to eliminate the problem.
Perform head lice checks on your child before and after Halloween festivities. Acquire a nit picking comb and sift through your child’s scalp. Be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of head lice or nits. These include:
Red bites or bumps on the scalp
Itching and irritations
White or transparent colored eggs laid near the base of the scalp. These will not flake off easily like dandruff.
Adult lice crawling around the scalp, brown in color and the size of a sesame seed.
If you are not comfortable performing these on your own, Lice Clinics of America offers head lice screening at your local clinic. We can show you what to look for, help you determine if you have a head lice problem and give you expert advice on how to prevent and cure head lice.
If your child attends several Halloween events, take the time to wash or disinfect their costumes before they re-wear them. This includes masks, hats, robes or all pieces that their hair comes in contact with.
What do I do if my child has caught head lice this Halloween?
Remember, symptoms of head lice can take up to three weeks to manifest. The nits that are laid will hatch after 7-9 days and symptoms will start to escalate.
Also, if you do see signs of head lice, don’t make the mistake of thinking that washing the hair is good enough. MedicoRX shows us that head lice are capable of holding their breath for up to eight hours. Water is not an effective tool against eliminating or preventing head lice.
Super lice are now a super big problem across the United States. Several reports indicate the super lice are indeed immune to common over the counter products. This not only makes head lice more difficult to get rid of, but it can literally turn into a nightmare for parents.
Don’t let head lice haunt you this Halloween! Call our Lice Clinics of America office today to talk about our preventative measures and the most effective products on the market at eliminating head lice. We offer expert advice and professionalism that you will not find anywhere else.
Many parents are unaware of how common a problem that bullying has become across the nation. Bullying is a serious issue that should not be brushed off or treated as an average childhood problem.
Bullying is defined on kidshealth.com as “ intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and possessions.” Social media is becoming a huge outlet for cyberbullying in recent years. Parents should always be aware of what is going on with their child’s social media accounts and check them frequently.
A national survey on StopyBullying.gov shows that about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.
When your child contracts head lice, they can become the target of bullying among peers and classmates.
Take Care Who Finds Out About the Problem
Although it is extremely appropriate to let individuals in your life know about the head lice problem in your household, proper care should be taken to make sure it does not become a community-wide announcement. Trusted, sensitive parents of your child’s close friends and neighbors, responsible adults at the school and anyone else that could be affected by the head lice problem who you know will use discretion should be notified of the problem.
Keep in mind that this situation can be humiliating and embarrassing for children, especially teens. Only inform those who need to know.
What Should I do If My Child is Bullied for Head Lice?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that up to 12 million children will catch head lice in the United States this year alone. Let your child know that most people will have to deal with head lice in their lifetime. It is a common problem that is not life-threatening or detrimental to their health. It does not label them as dirty or gross.
Children’s personalities are so different. There are many approaches that might work for your specific child. Here are a few tips for helping prevent bullying:
–Stand up to the bully. Teach your child to respond in a firm, strong voice that they will not be pushed around. Sometimes this will help the bully back off because your child is not an easy target.
-Other children will do best to approach the situation with humor. Have them come up with a joke or be prepared to laugh at themselves in the situation. Humor can take the bully by surprise and show them that your child is not affected by their degrading remarks.
-Children who will not respond well to pressure or be too afraid to stand up need to flee the situation as quickly as possible. Leave and find an adult.
-The first thing that a child should do is inform a teacher, principle, recess guard or any trusted adult who will listen.
-Teach your child to avoid physical fighting. This will only escalate the problem and get them into trouble.
–Keep up the communication. Talk to your child often and ensure that the problem is indeed resolved. Be the trusted adult that can help them come up with a plan and prevent bullying.
Many times as parents there are things you look back on and think….what could I have done differently? How could I have prevented this? Don’t let head lice be one of those situations! Ultimately, there is not a “fix all” solution that can guarantee to protect your family against head lice. However, as a proactive parent, there are some things that can be done to help in the fight against head lice. Take a look over this list of ideas and decide which ones you can implement into your busy schedule.
Head Lice Prevention Tips for ProActive Parents:
Teach Your Kids About Head Lice. We all know that children are more susceptible to head lice than adults. This is because they spend more time together in groups, don’t value personal space and are often playing and active together. Head lice are passed along through direct head to head contact most often. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show us that up to 12 million children will contract head lice in the US this year alone. That number is on the rise as more and more teens and preteens are passing along head lice as well. Teach your kids what head lice are, how they live and the symptoms of head lice. An excellent website for a resource is Easy Science For Kids.
Teach Kids About How Head Lice Are Passed. If you are telling your kids not to share hairbrushes and leaving it at that…you are making a mistake. Props for at least addressing the subject, but there is so much more to it than that. Do you have teens who spend hours on a smartphone or small handheld devices? Maybe your daughter is the selfie queen of her high school? Are your young kids spending reading time at school on the same bean bag as three other students? Do you have kids in sports sharing equipment and lockers? These are all scenarios where kids need to be aware that head lice can be transferred. Direct head to contact and contact with an item that is contaminated are the top ways head lice are passed. Teach them to be careful.
Become Informed Yourself. Parents with kids at home should know what to look for if your child has head lice. Three weeks is usually the amount of time it will take for full symptoms to start showing. First, nits or lice eggs can become visible very near your child’s scalp. They will be clear in color and blend in with the hair. Each egg is laid with a glue-like secretion that sticks it to an individual hair strand, making it much more difficult to pull off than dandruff or dry skin. Secondly, your child will start to feel itchiness, irritation from fecal matter and saliva and red bite marks on the scalp. Thirdly, you may be able to see traces of head lice or nits on pillows or areas that touch their head. They may also be feeling tingling or tickling sensations on their scalp that will escalate at night time.
Check for Symptoms Often. It may seem over the top to check your child’s scalp for head lice every few weeks, but it will almost certainly be worth it if you catch the problem early on. Lice Clinics of America sell nitpicking combs that are excellent for sifting through your child’s hair and searching for clues of a head lice infestation. Checking often can also give you the chance to remind your kids to be cautious. Remind them to be careful about direct head to head contact and sharing items. Lice Clinics of America also offer head lice checks in your local clinic. The professional staff can help you know what to look for, and determine if you have a problem.
Don’t Think It Won’t Happen To You. Above all, remember that head lice can happen to anyone! It is something that affects clean hair, dirty hair, people from all walks of life. No matter how proactive you have been, there is still always the chance it could happen to you. Stay on top of head lice with these few tips and make the process much easier for you and your family. Lice Clinics of America is your best source for treatments and advice on head lice. Contact the clinic for further information or questions.
To ensure you properly eliminate a head lice infection it is important to take the right steps. Many people can feel overwhelmed at the thought of their family being infected with head lice. Your head can spin at the thought of, “What do I do now?” or “Is there anything I forgot?”
Take care to read through our head lice checklist. Properly walking through each step is the only way to thoroughly eliminate head lice from your home and your life. Remember, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that this year up to 12 million school-age children will contract head lice in the United States. That means that adults, elderly and teenagers living with these small children are also at a great risk for infection.
Head Lice Checklist: Take the Right Steps
Screen Every Member of Your Household.
Lice Clinics of America offer head lice screenings at your local clinic. These can provide you with an expert opinion on who has head lice and how bad the situation is. Remember, pets do not transfer head lice.
Treat Those With Symptoms.
Head lice can only effectively be killed if the active lice AND their nits, or eggs, are killed. Many over the counter shampoos and products do not accomplish this. Lice Clinics of America have several excellent options available to thoroughly kill head lice AND their nits. In clinic treatments are provided that can dehydrate the head lice and eggs in a single process. At home kits are also available that provide everything you need to be successful at killing head lice at home. The best part, we also offer expert advice. Our staff can help you determine which option is best for you and how to proceed.
Deep Clean All Hair Items.
Anything such as hair brushes, hair combs, hair towels, hair picks, hair clips or ties need to be thoroughly disinfected. There is no need to throw items away. Soaking them in bleach water for 30 minutes, rinsing them and drying them will be enough to kill any traces of head lice. Don’t forget items that are in purses, backpacks or lockers. These could also be infected.
Deep Clean Bedding and Clothing.
If your child has head lice anything that has come into close contact with their head or scalp could be harboring head lice or eggs. This is an easy way for them to become reinfected. Place any backpacks, winter coats, hats, bedding, pillows or other items in the washer. Wash in warm water. If not able to wash, place items in the dryer on a high heat setting for 30 minutes. Still not convinced? Place items in a plastic bag and seal up tightly for a few days to ensure all active lice and nits are suffocated. Head lice cannot survive for over 48 hours once they have left the comfort of their human host.
Even places that you may not think about such as area rugs, recliners, sofas, bean bags, etc could have traces of head lice. Get out your vacuum and get to work! Items such as leather sofas or car seats could be wiped down with a wet rag to dust away any traces of head lice.
Stay Vigilant About Checking Scalps.
The next few weeks it will be extremely important for you to continue to check for symptoms or signs of head lice. Staying on top of the problem is half the battle!