Long have human beings walked the earth, and for almost as long they have been followed by blood-sucking parasites that live and feed off of their human blood. Lice in many different forms have evolved and survived almost as long as the human race. How did they first effect our ancestors? What cultures have dealt with lice throughout the centuries?
Homo sapiens and Their Closest Relative, The Chimpanzee
Many years ago humans and apes were both afflicted with the same type of parasite, lice that equally impacted both species. The term commonly used today “nitpicking” comes from the act of a shrewdness of apes gathering to unremittingly pick the nits and lice off of one another. Interestingly enough, over time the term has come to mean someone who bothers us or points out every annoying flaw. Even still in our day, groups of apes use nitpicking as a prominent social time. How similarly do we believe our ancestor homo sapiens would’ve gathered together to help pick off the nits and lice that ate away at them? Scientists know that 5.5 million years ago species of lice separated off into two groups, one that lived off of apes and another that was prone to human life. Since then several species of lice have been developed that infect specific mammals, no two being carried by the same type. That is why animals do not pose a risk for the spread of head lice to humans.
The Ancient Egyptian
Throughout ancient Egypt, people were tormented with lice. Remedies for the common person included eating a special meal mixture with warm water, and then vomiting it up. Others believed a recipe of spices mixed with vinegar rubbed on the scalp over a few days would suffocate them out. For royalty and priests, their heads were no exception. The wisest and predominant members of society chose to simply shave their entire bodies. They wore beautiful, decorative headdresses and unique wigs to show their prosperity and power. Even today the Egyptian decorum is often imitated by stylists and fashionistas. Ironically, the Egyptian style was actually a way of warding off lice.
Among researchers the hygiene habits of people during the Medieval Era are debatable. Many believed hygiene was so inconvenient and difficult to retain that it was nonexistent. Others believe that people tried their best to stay clean and keep their bodies maintained. One fact that researchers do agree on is that lice were a common, household problem. Common for even the royal, higher society as well as the lower class living. Medieval folklore suggests that lard was used to try and suffocate lice and nits off of a scalp. Others propose simply keeping the hair combed through and clean was of so little a priority that no one even bothered with lice. The fashion of the day entailed long heads of hair, and long bearded faces making shaved heads, not a popular option. Some stories suggest that simple-minded folk believed if they wore fur coats and clothes that the lice would make their way down onto the warm fur. It may not have been a realistic cure for lice, but at least they would’ve been warm through the winter weather.
Early American Lice
All along the great American frontier people were plagued with lice. Areas where lice became most problematic were in soldiers quarters where men lived closely packed into dirty, unwashed and infested beds. Places where infectious diseases spread and large numbers of sickly people were placed together in hospital tents or wards would be a breeding ground for lice. Bones from animals were commonly used to create nitpicking combs. A soldier’s fort in Wisconsin from the early 1830’s was the source for a recent archaeological find of bone carved lice combs used by the soldiers. Sometimes in extreme cases, kerosene was used to kill lice and eggs.
Lice of the Early 20th Century and Today
During the outbreak of WW II, malaria-borne illnesses were being spread by mosquitos. Scientists fabricated a pesticide that proved to not only kill the mosquitoes but also eliminate lice and their eggs.
For decades these toxins have been placed into shampoos, sprays, and medicines and used by people all throughout the world. Modern studies show us that pesticides, insecticides, and harmful toxins can be breathed into the lungs or absorbed through the skin. Applications such as dehydration methods are a proven, effective, and safe method for the modern lice problem.
It used to be that parents would worry about kids getting lice by while playing hide and go seek or laying down together in the treehouse but now parents have a new thing to worry about: selfies. That’s right, kids are now getting lice by taking selfies with their phone.
Scientists recently studied over 200 children and found that children who own a smartphone or tablet are twice as likely to get head lice than children who do not own a smartphone or tablet. They found that the reason for this is children who have these devices, take more selfies with their friends, giving lice the perfect opportunity to crawl from head to head. Children may bump heads without even realizing it.
Head lice infestations have increased in older children because of selfies as well. It’s not only elementary school children who get lice anymore. Selfies really create a domino effect of spreading head lice. So next time you get ready to take a selfie, beware.
Selfies And Super Lice
With lice spreading rapidly in elementary schools and now middle schools and high schools as well, it’s important to find a safe and effective lice treatment. Almost all lice infestations these days comprise of super lice, meaning they have a resistance to over-the-counter lice treatments and many other lice removal shampoos. drugstore lice shampoos are ineffective and in fact, can have harmful side effects. It’s extremely important to get educated and stay away from these products.
Trying head lice treatments does not have to result in a dead-end failure. Our treatments have been medically tested and strategically created to treat lice without the use of harmful pesticides. We offer a guaranteed treatment using a device that blows warm air to dehydrate lice and their eggs. Our high quality, non-toxic treatment is the perfect solution to one-and-done lice removal. Our treatments won’t harm your children or the environment.
No matter which treatment you choose when your child gets lice, make sure that it is first, safe and 2nd, effective. And take selfies at your own risk.
Raising independent, self-sufficient and mentally stable kids requires looking through a long-term lens. Here are 5 tips for raising great children.
1. Let Your Kids Fail
As hard as it may be, we need to stand back at times and let our kids make mistakes. They will learn from them. If your child has the skills and abilities to complete a task on their own, let them do it without stepping in. Failing is a necessary part of growing.
2. Let them read what they want.
Encourage your children to read, no matter if it’s a comic book, non-fiction piece or mystical novel. Those who read excel academically.
3. Teach Your Children How To Serve Others
Children who learn to love helping others don’t grow up feeling entitled or selfish. Those who serve on a daily basis are happy and humble.
4. Stay Away From Paying Your Kids To Do Chores
Paying your children to make their bed or clean their room is not always the best strategy in the long run. Parenting expert and author, Alyson Schafer says children will start expecting to be paid for everything they do for you. They’ll think “why would I help my mom carry groceries when I can make my bed for $10?”
5. Set A Bedtime And Stick To It
A study published in 2013 in the journal Pediatrics found that seven-year-olds who had irregular bedtimes had more behavioral problems than did those with consistent bedtimes. Children do well with patterns, schedules, and consistency.
As hard as parenting is, try to think in terms of the future. What will help your child in the long-run? Parenting is hard but if we are dedicated to teaching and nurturing our children in a meaningful way, it will all be worth it when they are successful and happy.
Pediculosis, or infestation with the human head louse (pediculus humanus capitis), is one of the most common human parasitic infestations worldwide, especially among elementary school children. In the United States, about 6-12 million kids get head lice per year. Head lice can infest anyone’s hair, regardless of gender, nationality, race, or hygiene. Even the cleanest classrooms and the most sanitary households can be affected by head lice.
Here Are 9 Quick Facts About Head Lice
1. Head lice are parasitic insects that only attack humans. You won’t catch lice from the family pet, nor will you give lice to your family pet.
2. The most common way head lice spread is through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person. They can’t fly or jump. The second most common way they spread is through combs, brushes or hats.
3. Head lice are very small — about the size of a sesame seed. They can be tan, brown, or gray in color. They also lay eggs, called nits.
4. This parasite prefers a dark, warm environment and is often discovered behind the ears, under a ponytail and at the nape of the neck. They can also be found on eyebrows and eyelashes, but that isn’t as common.
5. Head lice stay alive by feeding on blood from the human scalp. They will die within 1 to 2 days after being off their host because they no longer have a food source.
6. A female louse can lay up to 10 eggs daily and they usually lay their eggs ¼” from the scalp.
7. Nits can often be mistaken for dandruff. But they are firmly attached to the hair shaft with a waterproof glue-like substance and won’t budge by simply shaking the hair. They must be individually pulled out, most effective with a lice comb.
8. Anyone can get head lice. Doesn’t matter your race, socioeconomic status or hair type. All they want is hair to attach to and blood to suck.
9. Males are less likely to get head lice than females because they typically have shorter hair. People who are bald will not contract head lice because they need hair to attach to.
A new Texas law requires public elementary schools to notify parents within five days if lice are discovered on someone in their child’s class.
The law, which was implemented on Sept. 1, requires schools to send home a notice to parents but they may not identify which child in the class has a lice infestation. This makes parents aware of the lice infestation while protecting the child from potential embarrassment or harassment.
The Law Is Written Under Senate Bill 1566
According to Senate Bill 1566, schools must also notify the parent of an infected child within 48 hours once a school nurse or administrator becomes aware of lice on the child.
The notice must also include head lice treatment recommendations, provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even with the new requirements in place, The Texas Department of Health and Human Services says lice are not a public threat and do not carry diseases.
As lice experts, we have heard many lice horror stories. Oftentimes parents panic and try to treat lice with outrageous methods. We wouldn’t put coconut oil into that category but we also wouldn’t put it in the same category as our treatments. Nothing compares to going to a professional lice treatment. According to a clinical trial conducted by the Medical Entomology Centre, out of 50 patients, 41% of people were cured using a combination of coconut and anise spray, while 23% of people were cured using a permethrin-based over-the-counter treatment. This means coconut oil mixed with anise spray is more effective than drugstore lice treatments that are specifically made for lice. This is because of the super lice epidemic. Super lice have become resistant to many chemicals.
Coconut Oil Compared To Our AirAllé
While the coconut oil combination was effective on 41% of the people tested and a common over-the-counter treatment was effective on 23% of the tested individuals, our AirAllé® lice treatment is effective 99.2% of the time. So, in comparison, our treatment still beats the coconut oil/anise spray combination. In fact, our treatment beats any other lice treatment on the market. We combine out treatment with topical rinse and lice combing. If 100% precise, lice combing alone can be an effective. The problem is, it is near impossible to see every single nit with the naked eye and get every single one. If even one nit is left behind, you could have another lice infestation on your hands. This is why comb-out treatment alone is not reliable.
Coconut Oil Compared To Other Home Remedies
Coconut oil alone doesn’t do the trick, much like mayonnaise and tea tree oil. Although, it does not have as many harmful side-effects as mayonnaise and tea tree oil. Coconut oil is actually good for the hair and scalp. So if we were to compare which home remedy is the best option, coconut oil mixed with anise spray would be the most effective. But even so, why risk it when it might not work at all? Especially when we are sure that our AirAllé® treatment will work.
If you read our last blog, you read about our three tips to positive discipline. As promised, we are here to talk about four more tips, given by Dr. Katharine C. Kersey, the author of “The 101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline, and Jim Fay, the founder of the organization Love and Logic.
1. Give attention To The Good Behavior and Ignore The Bad
When children act out, it may be because they are seeking attention from their parents. So, sometimes ignoring the bad behavior and giving attention to the good behavior is an effective way to get your children to behave well. Kersey calls this the “Rain on the grass, not on the weeds” principle. If your child is throwing an obnoxious tantrum, play deaf or walk to another room. Your child will learn that that behavior will not gain the attention they are seeking. Show them that their good behavior catches your attention.
2. Redirect Bad Behavior To Positive Discipline
Children who constantly hear “no” or “don’t” tend to eventually tune those directives out. Instead of telling your child what not to do all the time, Kersey recommends offering an alternative behavior to your children. For instance, if your child is talking loud at the library, tell them to play the “quiet game” to see who can whisper longer. If they are acting out at the store, make them push the grocery cart.
3. Exploit the “energy drain”
Raising children can be draining, especially on those days when your children decide to act out. Fay says you can use your fatigue to your advantage. Fay calls this the “energy drain” principle. An example would be defusing a sibling fight by saying “Wow, you need to take that fight with your brother somewhere else, because listening to that could cause me a big energy drain, and I don’t think I’ll have the energy to take you to the park after dinner.”
4. Don’t Bribe Your Children
I’m sure every parent has been tempted to give their child a cookie to be quiet in church or give them a Snickers bar to behave well at an outing. Fay warns against bribing because it might send the wrong message. What kids hear when we bribe them is “‘You don’t want to be very good and you have to be paid off,’” says Fay.
Instead, Fay says, “the best reward for a kid is time with the parents.” Kersey agrees that quality time is key to a happy, well-behaved child. She recommends that each parent spend at least 15 minutes one-on-one connecting with a child every day. “Do something your child wants to do [during that time],” says Kersey. “Whisper in their ear how wonderful they are, how much you love them. … It’s the best investment you can make in your child.”