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!
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!
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.
Whether you have dealt with head lice before or this is your first go-around, knowing where to start can seem like a daunting task. For centuries people have used wild and creative methods to eliminate head lice. Ever seen a Pharoah or Egyptian goddess with their stylish jewels and large gold headpieces? Most likely these were ways to distract from the fact that most Egyptians had shaved heads to help ward off head lice. Notice how most Medieval Times features fur coats, jackets or vests? During this era, it was believed that head lice would prefer the warmth and comfort of animal fur and move from their human victim onto the fur pieces. It may sound crazy to us, yet there are all types of modern-day head lice remedies that seem just as strange.
Garlic is for Repelling Vampires, but What About Head Lice?
Some parents in the UK swear that adding a special mixture of ingredients, mainly garlic and lime juice to everyday shampoos will kill head lice.
THE PROBLEM: Obviously garlic in large amounts, this recipe calls for 10 cloves, produces a putrid smell. Can you imagine putting that in your hair for thirty minutes at a time? Not to mention, they suggest repeating the process every week for TWO months. Yikes. That is a recipe for an aroma disaster my friends…not a truly effective head lice remedy.
Mayonaisse or Vaseline? You Probably Have Both Laying Around Your Home
This particular home remedy is a common one. People believe that if they apply enough mayo or vaseline to the scalp, then proceed to cover it in plastic overnight that the head lice will suffocate. This could be partly true, however, incredibly ineffective and potentially dangerous.
THE PROBLEM: Depending on how young the child may be, we NEVER recommend putting plastic on your child’s head, especially overnight. This could lead to suffocating the child. Also, head lice can hold their breath for up to 8 hours. And, this method is not effective at all in killing nits, or lice eggs. So ultimately, it would need to be repeated every 7-10 days to kill head lice that were newly hatched, if it does kill them at all. Our suggestion, save the mayo for your next backyard BBQ with the neighbors.
Hair Straighteners, Hair Dryers, and Hair Trimmers, Oh My!
According to some sources, one out of four parents admits to using a hair straighter to attempt burning head lice out of their child’s scalp. The image of that is disturbing, although we do understand the desperation that parents have probably reached by that point. Others say that keeping a hot hairdryer on the scalp for an extended period of time has been their go-to when nothing else seemed to work. Others, yes about 50% of parents, admit that they have considered shaving the child’s head to finally be rid of head lice.
THE PROBLEM: First of all, beauty tools such as curling irons, hair straighteners, and hair dryers were never designed as head lice removal tools. These instruments are designed to reach up to 365 – 400 degrees! Imagine the severe damage that could be done to a child’s scalp when these devices are used improperly. Especially, if left on for significant periods attempting to burn out head lice or nits. Consider also, no child thinks of having head lice as a pleasant experience. To shave their head or chop off their hair would only add to the humiliation and harshness of their problem.
This process is science in action, leaving behind the mess, worry, and uncertainty if your treatments are even working. Leave this problem to the professionals who have eliminated head lice for thousands of people, just like you! Call Lice Clinics of Texas to get the help you need.
The last few years have been significant for the head lice industry. Lice Clinics of Texas 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?
These steps 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 Texas 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.
This Halloween we see scary things all around us! We are not talking about being deathly afraid of clowns or jumping at the sight of a spider. In the United States, parents suffer from many types of realistic fears for their children. Some of the most common fears include kidnapping, bullying, physical harm or disease.
Did you know that the fear of head lice is a real phobia for some anxiety-prone parents or children?
What Exactly is This Phobia and How Does it Affect Someone?
Pediculophobia is the fear of lice. Head lice, body lice or pubic lice all fall into this category. All types of lice are small, parasite animals that live off of human blood. Their whole existence depends on the availability of a human source to provide food, shelter, and warmth.
This specific phobia’s name is thought to have originated from the word pediculo, which is a Latin for lice. It can be caused by many things, like traumatic events or early childhood drama. Did you suffer a horrible case of head lice as a child? Did you face ridicule from peers because of it? Maybe you were scared by an event that involved insects or head lice in particular. Any or all of these could cause unrealistic fears to take over in someone’s mind.
How Do I Know if It’s a Phobia or a Normal Worry?
Any person will tell you that the thought of head lice will make them feel a pit in their stomach, their heads feel a little itchy, and an instant worry can set in. Thoughts can begin to race in their minds, “What would I do if my kid had head lice? How can I be sure they don’t have it?”
This is all normal and justified fear, especially if you have children between the ages of 3-10. The CDC indicates in the U.S. that up to 12 million children between these ages will become infected with head lice this year alone. That is not beginning to account for the rise in the number of tweens and teens who are contracting head lice each year.
However, if the fear of head lice is causing you extreme anxiety you could be dealing with a phobia. Some large indicators include panic attacks, heart arrhythmia, severe sweating, inability to speak or stop shaking. Some people suffering from this phobia will literally become nauseous and physically ill at the thought of a lice break out. Is this you? If so, there are available treatments to help you overcome your fears.
How Can I Deal with this Phobia or Fear of Head Lice?
Experts at Lice Clinics of Texas are your BEST source for getting rid of head lice on the scalp. Whether you are suffering from a real phobia or just clueless about what steps to take like most parents, we can end your head lice nightmare! Give us a call today to speak with a knowledgeable staff member about our most effective approach in eliminating head lice for good.
Head lice can come as a shock to parents who just don’t ever think it could happen to their kids! The reality is, head lice happens to all types of people. Regardless of social status, ethnicity, financial background or hygiene. The best thing to do when dealing with the shock of head lice is to face FACTS!
Reality #1 – Head Lice Effect All Types of People
When scientists study which type of hair head lice are more drawn to, they have actually found head lice have no preference as to the cleanliness of someone’s hair. That means the age-old stigma that only dirty people get head lice is completely FALSE. Check out this study published with ABC Health and Wellbeing detailing the results of years of study about head lice.
The only people who are safe from head lice are those with no hair, or bald! They are spread most commonly through direct head to head contact. They need hair strands to attach to and lay their eggs. They live off the blood supply from a human host.
Reality #2 – Your Kid Has Had Head Lice for a While
The first symptom of head lice is itching. The itchiness on the scalp, back of the neck or behind the ears is an allergic reaction to lice saliva or fecal matter. It often takes three to four weeks for that reaction to start, which would lead to you starting to notice symptoms. Often the initial itching is just overlooked as dry skin. Head lice breed and reproduce at a fast rate. With a life span of only 30 days, adult lice need to grow and mature before you really start to notice significant symptoms. That is why frequent scalp screenings are the best way to avoid an outbreak.
Reality #3 – Head Checks Are The Best Way To Detect Lice
The sooner you find lice, the sooner you can get rid of them. The longer your child has head lice, the higher the chance of your other household members getting head lice. Even adults or the elderly would be at risk. Not to mention your child’s circle of friends and classmates. Nobody wants to be the reason for a lice outbreak at school. The only way to catch lice early on is to perform regular head checks on your children. We can show you the best ways to catch head lice early in our clinic.
4. We Offer The Best Lice Treatment Around
We offer the most up to date and effective lice treatments on the market.
Now you know a little bit more about head lice. Call Lice Clinics of Texas if you have any questions or need to schedule an appointment!