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. Let’s learn about 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.”