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 in addition to treatments.
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.
This is just another story of a family who endured head lice. Sharing my experience and what I learned from this trial helps me think that it was maybe worth going through.
We live in a small country town in Texas. My children attend school in a 2A division with only a couple hundred kids in each school. I have one daughter who is 15, a son who is 12, and a daughter who is 10.
My oldest daughter is a High School cheerleader. She loves being a part of the squad, attending football games and feeling like a part of the community through cheering. Part of the comradery of the cheerleaders is that they spend a lot of time together after football games, often spending the night at someone’s house altogether. It never occurred to me to talk to her about not sharing pillows, blankets or brushes at these parties. That was my first mistake.
After a few weeks of football last year I was braiding her hair for a game. I noticed a few white flecks that seemed to be a little different than dandruff, but I just shrugged it off and forgot about it. That was my second mistake. But, in my defense she hadn’t been complaining about itchiness, I saw no signs of head lice and so I actually thought it was residue from hairspray or something similar.
After another few weeks, I noticed a few more! This time they looked more suspicious to me and so I took some time to get a comb and thoroughly examine her scalp. She had head lice! I could see not only traces of nits, lice eggs that had been laid onto strands at the base of her scalp, but I actually found a few adult lice crawling around! I couldn’t believe it! How could this happen? I felt sick. She was so embarrassed. I promised her I wouldn’t tell anyone about it.
As most parents do, I felt overwhelmed. I sent my husband to the drug store where he bought a couple bottles of over the counter shampoo. We washed her hair multiple times in the sink and then applied the special shampoo and scrubbed it really well to hopefully kill all the head lice. Then after her hair was dry I combed through it again and peeled off as many of the nits or eggs that I could find. It seemed like the problem was under control and I knew I would just check again in a few days. This was my third mistake.
Little did I know that the products we washed her hair with are not only useless against some forms of head lice, but they don’t kill the eggs that I missed. It is almost impossible, like literally infuriating to go through a thick head of long hair like hers and try to pick out every single little egg. Obviously, I missed a few and the problem just came back!
I checked my other children for a few weeks, and just went ahead and washed their hair with the shampoo to make sure they were clean. This was my fourth mistake. They all three ended up with head lice. Now my problem had turned into an absolute nightmare. I had no idea what to do, I was losing my mind.
Finally, after talking to a friend on the cheerleading squad (it turns out several of the girls had contracted head lice) I found out about Lice Clinics of America. Their unique process of killing head lice in a one time 90-minutes process seemed too good to be true at first. Now, after having experienced it first hand I am a believer! I can’t imagine what we would’ve done if this cycle would’ve continued any longer. I am so grateful to have had their expertise and knowledge about how to actually get rid of the problem!
What I Learned:
Check ALL your children often for signs of head lice. Not just the young ones.
Talk to you kids about ALL the dangers of contracting head lice, not just hair brushes.
Don’t rely on over the counter shampoos that are not effective.
If you see suspicious white flakes, take a closer look. Ask for a head lice check from a pro if you are uncertain.
Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and parents about the situation. You never know if they are dealing with it also or can offer help!
Growing up is hard to do! Many experiences your child will have need to be recorded so that they can learn and grow from them. Many parents have found that children who write out their feelings and thoughts are better equipped to handle their emotions throughout their life. Happy kids are able to express themselves and learn from their mistakes and experiences. One excellent way to accomplish this is for your children to keep a journal.
It’s as simple as this:
Find an empty Mason Jar.
Let your child decorate it.
Print out the journal prompts and cut them into single strips.
Set aside a time each week for your child to pull out a strip and answer the prompt in their journals.
Journal Jar Prompts for Kids
How many dreams do you remember having and what were they about?
Who is your favorite superhero and why?
When I grow up I want to become a……
What is my favorite past time and why?
Who is my best friend? What do I love about this person?
Why do I enjoy school? What would I change about school?
If I could learn one new skill it would be…
My hero is……. And why I want to become like them?
What has been the scariest thing to happen to you? What did you do to overcome it?
What is the best thing to happen to you?
Who do you want to be like when you have grown up and why?
If you could run your school for one whole day what would you do differently?
Which subject in school is your worst and what can you do to be better?
How are you like your father?
Tell me about your grandparents? What memories of them do you love the most?
If you had $100 what would you buy?
How many people help you during the day? How?
If you woke up one morning and you had turned into an adult, what would you miss most about being a kid?
What skill do you want to develop that you are not very good at right now?
I love it when my mom…..
I love it when my dad…..
My favorite holiday time tradition is….
Why is school important to you? What can you do to make it better?
If you lived to be 100 years old who do you think you will become?
Where have you visited that you loved to go?
How many people do you think you have helped? How?
What are you good at that you can get really, really good at?
What musical instruments do you like and want to play?
Which type of music makes you want to dance?
Is there something you really want to do in life but you are kind of afraid to?
How are you like your mother?
Where would you go on vacation if you could do anything?
Who would you spend the night with camping if you could choose?
What sport do you wish you could get really, really good at?
What is one thing that has been hard for you that you overcame?
Have you ever made someone really happy? What did you do and how did you feel after?
Name two people who you have admired.
Why do you like bedtime?
What is your earliest memory?
What dreams do you have that you have never told anyone?
It is easy to fall out of a routine and let things slide during the summer vacation from school. Every parent knows that lazy summer days are an enjoyable time for kids. However, it is important as parents to help kids keep their minds sharp and active so that they can transition back to school without having fallen behind. Here are a few ways to help kids be school ready during the summer break:
-Keep a routine. Obviously there will be days during vacations or special times when a routine is out of the question. But, for normal summer days try to let kids know what the expectations are and have them stay on a schedule. Getting up every day, having a set list of things to do and then giving them an afternoon of free time is a great way to approach this. Kids thrive on a schedule and often need it to feel stability in their life.
-Read all summer long. Reading helps kids to retain the information they have learned throughout the year. It also helps them to increase their creativity, their vocabulary and stay interested in learning. Magazines, online resources, books, graphic novels, or even comic books are all good ways to engage their minds and provide opportunities for learning.
-Find them a penpal! There are programs like Students of the World that help international students find a penpal that they can get to know, learn from and develop a relationship with from a totally different part of the world. Learning about other cultures can help kids be more accepting, more creative, increase curiosity and become a more understanding, adventurous adult. These programs give them the opportunity to express themselves as well as they teach their new foreign friend about their world and who they are!
-Limit screen time.Pediatricians recommend that children have no more than two hours of screen time per day. This is also true in summertime. Just because children are home and have more free time doesn’t mean it should be spent playing video games all day. It is also recommended that tvs and electronics not be placed in children’s bedrooms. Open areas where the family can easily see what is going on is the safest approach for internet and electronic use.
-Have children help with everyday planning. Meal planning, vacation planning, family movie night planning – these are all ways to engage children and give them real life experience that can help them stay motivated to learn. Plus, this offers them the chance to understand what you do for them! They can learn to appreciate what it’s like to be an adult and learn skills that can help them in life.
-Help them earn money. Whether they are old enough for a real job or just need an opportunity to learn responsibility, earning money and learning to manage it is a vital skill in life. Often during the school year children are too busy to do this. Summertime provides a chance for kids to earn and learn while having fun! Things like lemonade stands, bake sales, car washes, walking dogs, mowing lawns or babysitting provide opportunities for growth and learning.
We hope these tips will help your family have a summer worth remembering. At Lice Clinics of America we love our community and are always looking for ways to strength the families who make it strong. Happy Summer!
Every parent can agree that there are moments we wish we could go back and have a do-over. Maybe we blurted out something we didn’t really mean in a moment of stress or lost our cool over something really small and unimportant. We have all be there. At Lice Clinics of America, we understand that learning your kid has head lice can definitely be one of those moments.
Our advice, take a moment to breathe, arm yourself with good information, and proceed with patience. Parents – you got this! Lice Clinics of America is here for you.
“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” Peggy O’Mara reminds us. Now is the perfect time for you as a parent to recommit to using positive language and building trust with your child.
With that said, here are a few things that every normal parent may have popped into their mind when just learning their kid is harboring head lice. We recommend avoiding them at all costs:
“Who have you been playing with? Those kids are so dirty!”
“Yuck! Please don’t hug me. I don’t want to catch it!”
“It’s so gross! So Creepy!”
“How could this happen, haven’t you been careful? Have you been showering?”
“Oh no, now I have to tell all your friends and neighbors that you have head lice!”
Here are a few things to remember to help you avoid the negative commentary:
#1- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that between 6 to 12 million children will pass along head lice every year in the United States. That’s a lot of kids dealing with this issue. And, that number is only on the rise. The new generation of “super lice” that are showing immunities to pyrethrum, the active ingredient in over the counter shampoos are making head lice rampant in some parts of the country. So, rest assured. You are not alone in this problem.
#2 – Shampooing and bathing alone do NOT kill head lice or nits. Contrary to popular belief, getting head lice does not mean that someone is dirty or unkempt. In fact, head lice have no preference over clean or dirty hair. A host is a host to them. Also, head lice are able to survive for several hours underwater. This is why water and shampoo do not kill them.
#3 – When your child contracts head lice it is very courteous to let close friends parents know, teachers and possibly coaches or other adults who might be able to help make sure it is not becoming a huge problem in the community. However, it is not something that every child needs to know. Keeping it as discreet as possible by communicating with trusted adults is the best approach. Kids can get as embarrassed and hurt by gossip or rumors as adults. Sometimes even much worse than adults. Keep in mind their feelings and proceed with discretion.
#4 – Children look to their parents for safety and security. You are their anchor. Remember to be the adult, use your words carefully and try to keep a positive and uplifting attitude in this difficult situation. Use it as an opportunity to build trust between you and your child. They will start to believe you can help them through any tough situation in life.
#5 – Lice Clinics of America is the most reliable source for diagnosing head lice, removing head lice and keeping your home head lice free. Call our offices today with any questions or concerns you may be feeling. We understand. We are here to help you!
Summertime is everyone’s favorite time of year! The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, the swimming pools are open and BBQ’s are going on in every neighborhood. Yet, with so much free time from school, what parents haven’t heard the dreaded words, I AM BORED!
Bust summer boredom with these awesome, fun and easy ideas. Any time kids start to complain, an activity will be ready to help them get creative and pass the time!
Summer Boredom Busters:
#1- Creative Kids in Action
For this fun activity, kids will draw out of three envelopes. Each envelope gives them a different direction to create a fun, artistic afternoon. Don’t let them redraw! Once they have picked out of the envelope, they have to keep it. Here’s how it works:
-You will need three envelopes. In the first envelope write on five strips of paper each phrase – Write a story, Make a movie, Create a dance, Draw a picture, or Write a play.
-Next, take your second envelope and write phrases such as – About a pioneer that rides in a wagon, About an ogre that loves flowers, About an evil witch that eats candy, About a famous race car driver that is only 12, About an old lady that lives in a treehouse…or whatever you choose!
-Lastly, take your third envelope and write action phrases such as- Who gets to meet the President, Who travels across the world, Who is being chased by evil dragons, Who can never remember their name, Who sleeps all day and is awake at night…you get the idea!
This concept can be adjusted however you like and create hours of fun entertainment for any child.
#2 – Create a Summer Game Basket
Games are a great way to spend the day! Find an empty basket and place dollar store card games such as Old Maid, Go Fish or Crazy Eight inside of it. Buy a few decks of regular cards as well, some dice, maybe a chess board and some checkers. Any games you like! Check out this website for Kid Classic Card Games.Print out some rules for classic card games or dice games and your kids will have hours of fun prepared.
#2 – Boredom Jar
Take an empty Mason Jar and have your kids decorate it for summertime. Make a list of fun, easy summer activities that can be outdoor, indoor or around the neighborhood. Once kids start to complain of boredom, have them draw an activity and fulfill it!
While life is rushing by us sometimes the last thing we are thinking about is preventing bad things from happening. We might just be trying to survive today! However, did you know that parents who are informed about head lice and take steps to proactively protect their families are better off than those who do not? Of course, anyone can still bring home a case of head lice. But, parents who know are prepared to handle the situation calmly and effectively. Ultimately, they may even prevent it after all! Take a quick head lice pop quiz to see how prepared you are as a parent against head lice. Have fun, learn some lice facts, and see how you favor against others!
Head Lice Pop Quiz for Parents
Question #1 – Why do head lice need a human host?
They don’t. Head lice can live on any number of animals, pets or even birds.
Head lice are exclusively a human parasite that lives off human blood and warmth to survive.
Head lice eat human hair and can survive without a human host as long as they have a food source, such as a hairbrush.
Question #2 – What time of the year do head lice outbreaks occur?
Head lice are active all times of the year, with more occurrences seen during spring break, summer breaks and back to school time.
Head lice are only active during the summer months when it is warmest.
Head lice are dormant all winter and come out for spring, summer, and fall.
Question #3 – What are super lice?
Head lice that have developed the ability to fly, making it much easier for them to infect many people.
Head lice that are able to hold their breath for up to 10 hours. This allows them to be unaffected by shampoos or water.
Head lice that have build up immunities to the active ingredient in over the counter shampoos.
Question #4 – What should you do to clean your home if someone has head lice?
Only worry about washing pillows that touch the head. Everything else is unaffected and not a threat.
Wash all bedding, sheets, towels, and stuffed animals. Deep clean carpets, furniture, and clothing. Place items that can’t be washed in the warm dryer for 20 minutes.
Take everything out of the child’s bedroom and sanitize it. Throw away bedding and clothing and replace with new.
Question #5 – Who is most likely to contract head lice?
Children between the ages of 3-11 are the most likely.
Adults who take the bus and/or fly frequently.
Elderly people are most likely to contract head lice because they don’t wash their hair very often.
How do you think you did? Here are the answers in case you are unsure:
Answer #1 – Head lice are exclusively a human parasite that lives off of human blood and warmth to survive. Pets play no role in head lice or the transfer of head lice.
Answer #2 – Head lice are active all times of the year, with more occurrences seen during spring break, summer breaks and back to school time. The cold winter months do not kill them.
Answer #3 – Super lice are head lice that have build up immunities to the active ingredients in over the counter shampoos, pyrethrins, and pyrethroids. This is found in common products that have been overused since the 1990s.
Answer #4 – Wash all bedding, sheets, towels, and stuffed animals. Deep clean carpets, furniture, and clothing. Place items that can’t be washed in the warm dryer for 20 minutes.
Answer #5 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that children between the ages of 3-11 are most likely to contract head lice.
Surprised at how little you know about this common, childhood problem? Contact Lice Clinics of America today with any questions or concerns you may have about head lice or the treatments we offer.
A big part of what we do at Lice Clinics of America is to help families through the headache of a head lice outbreak. We understand that this is not just a physical problem but can create quite a bit of stress and anxiety for everyone involved. With that in mind, we decided to take some time to talk with a few kids who have dealt with a case of head lice. We wanted to know how it made them feel, what they understood and what we could do to make the process easier for them.
Hunter age 12, Olivia age 8, and Ethan age 7 were happy to answer our questions. Here’s what they had to tell us:
Question #1 – “What are Head Lice?”
Ethan remarked, “Head lice is really little bugs that have sticky stuff that sticks them to your hair. I think you can get them from outside.”
Olivia answered, “Head lice is where you have little bugs in your hair. You have lice bugs. Head lice they eat your hair. I am just guessing because they like to go on our head.”
Hunter told us, “Head lice are like really tiny bugs. They are only like a tiny speck so you can’t see them. I think they eat bacteria.”
Obviously, when it comes to the facts about head lice, these kids were a little unsure. It may not be very important that they know the correct details about what head lice eat, especially the fact that an average case of head lice results in 50-60 bites per day. However, knowing how head lice are transferred and where they are most likely to catch head lice can be a very important fact for kids. Teach them that head lice are most often a result of direct head to head contact with friends. Remind them not to share hair accessories, brushes, hoodies, hats, pillows or other things that come into contact with hair.
Question #2 – “How Did You Know You had Head Lice? How Did You feel?”
Olivia told us, “I was just taking a shower and then my mom sits on the couch, and I sit on the floor and then she combs my hair. With the bottom of the comb she was combing my hair and she found them. She tried to get all the bugs out with it. I felt so scared. I HATE bugs and I only wanted to sleep on the floor because I was scared the bugs were on my bed!”
Hunter said, “I felt like there were little bugs in my hair. I wanted to wash my hair like super, heavy duty, for like a really long time all day and all night. I wanted to get them out as soon as possible because it was gross.”
Ethan replied, “I think it felt kinda ticklish and like painful in my hair. I felt super scared and worried that I could get creeped out. I was worried I could get hurt.”
These feeling of worry, stress, anxiety, and fear can take over when your child has contracted head lice. It is important for parents to ensure children that head lice are not life-threatening, it is not something that makes them a dirty or bad person. Children can feel more strain and grief from these scenarios than we might realize. Information is power and can do a lot to help prevent children from catching head lice and feeling reassured if they do. Take the time to talk to your kids about prevention. Teach them the signs and symptoms as well so they know what to look for in the future.
Question #3 – “How Did You Feel After Your Treatment and Your Head Lice was gone?”
Olivia told us, “I felt so happy and relieved! I would not share brushes with any more second graders!”
Ethan remarked, “I was so happy I wanted to throw a party!”
Hunter said, “I felt like I was clean and felt a lot better. I felt like I could be around people again.”
Many children feel embarrassed or want to withdraw from friends for fear of being labeled as a dirty kid. This is why we offer the latest, most effective, fast and painless treatment available for head lice removal. Lice Clinics of America uses the AirAllé® (pronounced air-a-lay) FDA-cleared medical device to eliminate head lice in one quick hour-long treatment. This product offers you peace of mind and helps your child to be free of this irritating event quickly and for good.
Did You Know?
Head lice is a huge problem, worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the United States alone 6-12 million children between the ages of 3 to 11 will contract head lice each year. This number is only growing with new “super lice” that show strong immunities to over-the-counter head lice shampoos and treatments. Also be aware, adults living in the same household with small children are much more likely to contract head lice themselves.
Why are Children More Often Prone to Head Lice?
Children play in large groups, ignore personal space boundaries, don’t discriminate or feel afraid to get up close and personal. While they are attending daycares, schools, playgroups or just playing in the backyard, they spend much more time closely-knit together. Because head lice are passed most often through direct head to head contact, they are more likely to pass it to one another.
Most parents love to watch their children participate in sports. As your child is running down the field giving it their best, you can’t help but be filled with a sense of pride. Other parents may wonder if it’s even worth the time and effort for their kids. Actually, there are many benefits to why children should play sports. Here are just a few to consider.
Benefit #1 – Sports Help Children to Feel Self-confidence
As they develop a new skill and talent kids self-esteem can be greatly increased. Through practicing and hard work children learn that they can accomplish much more than they ever realized. This is also a great opportunity for parents or older siblings to work with younger kids and spend time with them honing their skills. What is more fun for a mom or dad than to spend the afternoon throwing a ball with their kids or shooting baskets after school? It’s also a great way to have some family time! As your child develops an interest in a certain sport watch the professional teams as a family, pick a favorite team and root for them together. Children who spend time with a loving family do better in school, have much more self-confidence and will be better parents themselves in the future.
Benefit #2 – Sports Help Children Develop Leadership and Teamwork Skills
One of the most important lessons in life for any child is to learn to follow instructions and to work with others. Sometimes, we all encounter certain adults who struggle with this. It is vital as a child to learn to listen to instructions and follow them. With a coach to guide them, sports will give children this opportunity. It is equally as important for children to learn to put the needs of the overall team above their own wants and desires. Team sports for children can also help them to develop leadership skills as they notice a teammate who needs help and they take action. Leadership skills will emerge as they notice areas the team can improve and work hard with their teammates by offering encouragement and acceptance.
Benefit #3 – Active Kids are Healthy Kids
In the United States, one out of every six children is considered obese according to the American Heart Association. This is not only an alarming statistic but also dangerous to their health as they grow into adulthood. Young children are starting to show signs of diseases that were previously only affecting adults such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. As children participate in sports they learn to love to be active. This love of healthy exercise can help them greatly as they grow into adults and continue this lifestyle.
Benefit #4 – Children Who Play Sports Workout Their Stress
Kids can become very anxious with demands of school work, household chores, finding friends and many other things that sometimes adults don’t think about. Sports gives them an opportunity to have an outlet for these frustrations. As they exercise, run and play hard they’re able to deal with the stress in a healthy way and vent some of their frustrations.
Benefit #5 – Playing Sports Build Lasting Friendships
Kids need friends so much in elementary and junior high school age. Friends give them a support system that parents simply cannot provide. They create many fun, happy memories together all the while building relationships that could last them a lifetime. Let the kids play and have fun together!
Although sports are a great outlet for kids there’s always the possibility of catching head lice. Here are a few tips on keeping your kids healthy and head lice free while they participate in sports:
Teach children not to share sports equipment that could be harboring head lice or nits. Items such as helmets, hats, jackets, towels, or any other equipment that could transfer lice.
Make sure your child is not sharing a locker or gym bag with another player.
Inevitably, all the children will show up at practice and throw their belongings in a large heaping pile next to the sideline. Teach your child to keep their belongings separate and away from the group pile where other children’s things could be infected with head lice.
Direct head-to-head contact is the most common way to catch head lice. Talk to your children about avoiding direct head-to-head contact wherever possible.
Teach proper hygiene by having your child shower and wash their hair after every practice and game.
As a parent be alert and watch for signs and symptoms of head lice. Catching the problem early on is a much easier fix than even a few weeks later.
Sometimes when we think of head lice we automatically think of poor hygiene. Are there really any connections between personal hygiene habits and the possibility of catching head lice? The truth just might surprise you.
Dirty Hair vs. Clean Hair
Kids at school have been known to laugh and tease someone who is caught with head lice. They might even call them dirty or gross. Science Daily recently released an article showing this false assumption is way off base. In reality, head lice are actually more predisposed to prefer shiny, clean hair when looking for a new human host. Anyone, including those who are adamant about hygiene, is at risk for catching lice. Lice do not fly, hop or jump and are transferred most often by direct head to head contact. Therefore, it is much more about who you come into close contact with than how often you wash your hair.
Proper Hygiene is Crucial in Eliminating Head Lice
With that being said, once someone is actually infected with head lice cleanliness becomes concern number one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to parents that head lice are not a result of poor hygiene, yetproper hygiene plays an important role in stopping the spreading of it. For example, if someone has caught head lice and is not quickly treated, the problem can escalate quickly. The more head lice they are carrying, the more likely it is to spread to those around them. Shampooing alone is not an adequate means for eliminating head lice. Nits and live lice must be killed and removed from the scalp.
Cleanliness in the Home is Just as Important
Those who live in the same household as others infected with head lice are the most at risk. Children between the ages of 3-11 pose the greatest risk for bringing head lice home. As parents interact with their children they are also at risk. This is definitely the most common way adults catch head lice, from their young children. Not only proper cleaning of the body but also of the home is important to stop head lice from spreading. Take care to thoroughly wash all bedding, towels, clothing, stuffed animals or school gear that your child has been in contact with. Place items in a hot dryer for 20 minutes if you are unable to wash them. Thoroughly vacuum all rooms and clean all couches and linens to eliminate lice and nits.
Teach Good Hygiene Habits to Kids
As often as we tell our kids to do something, it is far more advantageous to teach them through example. If hygiene is important to you, they are more likely to follow suit. With that said, it is not always that easy to know what you should do. The American Academy of Dermatology offers some guidelines and tips about hygiene for kids:
Children aged 6 – 11
Twice a week at least to wash the hair and body, is recommended.
Daily baths are not necessary, but ok if they would like to.
Shower or bath after swimming, or in lake or ocean water.
If they are outside and their skin is dirty or sweaty, as needed.
Use fun bath time toys or water coloring changing tablets to make it more enjoyable.
Get their favorite character soap bubbles or shampoos. Or buy them a fun, hooded towel they will enjoy using.
Children aged 12+
At this age children can get pretty stinky. Showering or bathing daily is recommended.
Usually, by sixth-grade kids start to feel self-conscious about being unclean and it gets a little easier to rely on them to shower daily. Except maybe for 11-12-year-old boys. They often require a little more persuasion.
Buy them their own body washes and sweet smelling shampoos. Make sure they are using a good deodorant.
Wash their faces daily to help fight acne.
Always rinse off in the shower after participating in sporting events.