National news stations are covering a recent story about Fox sports analyst, Clay Travis, whose family was kicked off of a Delta flight when head lice were discovered on his son’s head during the flight.
Travis turned online to express his anger about the situation, including how it was handled.9
According to Travis, he and his wife did not know their children had head lice, but when they discovered it, they knew exactly where it came from. Serval weeks ago, their children were around cousins who had lice.
“When my sister told me about her kids having lice, my wife bought all the over the counter lice treatments and doused our kids with it. Then she kept an eye on both boys over the next several weeks,” Travis says on his blog Out Kick the Coverage.
“During these two weeks in London and Paris our kids took regular baths and we combed their hair after each bath. At no point did either of us see any signs of lice.”
Lice Discovered Mid-Flight
The head lice were discovered halfway through their flight coming from Paris, headed to Minneapolis for a connecting flight to Nashville.
“While he was standing in line for the bathroom, my six year old started to scratch his head. My wife checked to see why he was scratching his head and saw then that he had lice. Several flight attendants rushed over too and peered down at my son’s head. ‘Oh, my God, he has lice’, they said.”
When the plane landed in Minneapolis for their connecting flight, the plane emptied and a flight attendant told Travis and his family that they could not take their connecting flight to Nashville. Travis and his wife were not happy about this and said they were not going to stay in Minneapolis. That’s when the flight attendant said that his children would have to be examined and possibly treated.
Travis failed to find any such policy about lice on the airline’s website and instead found the CDC’s information about lice stating:
“Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.
Head lice can be a nuisance but they have not been shown to spread disease. Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued. “No-nit” policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to schools should be discontinued for the following reasons:
Many nits are more than ¼ inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice, or may in fact be empty shells, also known as ‘casings’.
Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to be transferred successfully to other people.
The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
Misdiagnosis of nits is very common during nit checks conducted by nonmedical personnel.”
This confused Travis because kids are encouraged to remain at school when they have head lice, a place where they come in contact with lots of other children but they must not remain on a plane?
They were still not able to board their connecting flight and a flight attendant told them they should go to the emergency room.
Lack of Head Lice Education
This entire situation may have been handled better or avoided if the Travis family knew more about super lice and if the airlines knew more about head lice in general. If Travis’s wife knew about super lice, she would have known that over-the-counter treatments are not effective. This is an example of way head lice education is so important to us.
However, this might be enough incentive to bring your child to us for a head check before hopping on a plane. Check out the video below to watch the story.
We have often heard of parents turning to the common household condiment for at-home head lice treatment. The question is, does it work? Other lice blogs might say that mayonnaise does treat head lice infestations. But we strongly recommend staying away from mayonnaise. By all means, slap it on your sandwich, that’s what it’s meant for. But please read this blog and think twice before slabbing it on your child’s head. There are several reasons why we discourage mayonnaise, the first and foremost being that it can be dangerous. To keep the mayo on the head, most parents wrap some sort of plastic wrap around the head before bed and then send them to sleep with it on, not often thinking about the fact that the plastic wrap may come off in the middle of the night and suffocate their child. This has actually happened and resulted in death. Children have also gotten food poisoning from the mayonnaise. It’s literally and figuratively a messy situation. The severe situations are probably rare, but why risk it? If there’s even a chance that your child could be harmed, is it even worth it? We think not. It is also not a very fun thing to clean up. Have you ever left opened mayonnaise out of the refrigerator and then threw it away because of the horrid smell? Well, why would you expose your child to that all night?
Does Mayonnaise kill the eggs?
Even if mayonnaise kills live lice, it has not been shown to kill lice eggs. If you don’t kill the lice eggs, then killing the live lice is pretty much pointless because the eggs are going to hatch and a turn into live lice in a few days. Getting rid of the lice eggs can be the trickiest part. Imagine going through all that and it not being effective? Imagine having to clean mayo-filled bed sheets and pajamas.
As mothers, we know the value of doing what you feel is right for your family but just know that mayonnaise can be very unsafe, messy and ineffective. Why risk it?
We are everything head lice. We are experts at treating it, we keep up with new research on it and we know how to effectively treat it without the use of pesticides or chemicals of any kind. Head lice are the most common type of lice, especially in children and it is the type your child might contract at school or at a friend’s house or at summer camp. Some parents might raise four kids and never deal with head lice, and another parent might have four kids and have to deal with it with each one of them. It is no reflection on the parent; lice become even more common when there’s an outbreak at your child’s school. You just never know if your child is going to get lice or not so it’s a good idea for parents to know a little bit about it and to know about their treatment options just in case. It is something you want to get treated as soon as possible. Head lice are technically called Pediculus humanus capitas and reside in the hair, close to the scalp. They feed off blood from the scalp several times a day and cause major itching. We treat head lice only at our clinic, no other type of lice. There are two other types of lice.
Body lice, or Pediculus humanus corporis, live on the body and are gross little bugs that can carry diseases if you don’t treat them. They are usually associated with someone who has bad hygiene and is unclean. This type of lice can certainly be treated by improved hygiene, cleanliness, and access to regular changes of clothes. Body lice infestations can go away. Stay clean and hygienic to avoid them!
Pubic lice are pretty self-explanatory. They lice in pubic hair and can also be found in other areas such as eyebrows, eyelashes, beards, mustaches, chest hair or armpits. Their technical name is Pthirus Pubis and they are usually spread through sexual contact. There are effective over-the-counter and prescription treatments for pubic lice. This one can get worse if not taken care of.
No matter what kind, lice infestations are gross and not at all fun. They should all be treated as soon as possible and we can take care of that if you find yourself or your children with head lice. It’s important to get every member of your family checked if one person gets head lice and we can do that at our clinic. Bring them in and we’ll take it from there.
Summer is here and we are all loving it, especially our kids. Summer means no school, water parks galore and best of all… summer camp! Summer camp is an $18 billion industry and is a great way for kids to make new friends and learn new skills while having fun. According to acacamps.org, More than 14,000 day and resident camps exist in the U.S. 8,400 are resident (overnight) and 5,600 are day camps. More than 14 million kids and adults attend camp per year in the U.S. and Camps employ more than 1.5 million camp staff to work in various camp positions. It’s safe to say that summer camp is very popular among children and parents shell out a lot of money for it. We hope our children come home with good memories and don’t fall victim to a head lice outbreak. Summer camps are a high-risk place for head lice infestations because of the abundance of children. Anywhere with lots of kids is a prime place for head lice.
Taking Care Of It Before Summer Camp
We recently worked with a summer camp and had the opportunity to go to the camp on the very first day and perform a head check on every child as well as supply treatment for anyone who had a head lice infestation. By doing this, we eliminated the chance of an outbreak at the camp. Lice spread through direct head-to-head contact as well as the sharing of items. If there are no lice in the first place, there’s no way for them to spread. They don’t just come out of nowhere. This is one of the most brilliant ways to make sure there aren’t head lice outbreaks in the middle of the week at camp. This is a great and affordable preventative method. Eradicating the lice before camp starts is key, but we know that not every camp will be up for that. We did happen to be very successful when we did it so if you want to work something out with us and your child’s camp, we’d be happy to come to camp with you.
Being Informed And Prepared
As a parent, we encourage you to be prepared and informed in case of a head lice outbreak. Different camps have different policies and procedures when it comes to head lice. That information would be good to know ahead of time. Does the onsite nurse know how to identify head lice? How do they handle a head lice outbreak? It would be a good idea to know exactly what would happen if there were a lice outbreak at your child’s camp. Sending a lice shampoo to camp with your child will not work because those store-bought shampoos don’t kill super lice and most lice in the U.S. are super lice these days.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend treatment and prevention of further infestation, then allowing those afflicted to remain in group settings. Other organizations, such and the National Pediculous Association (NPA), recommend temporarily removing those afflicted from the group setting until all signs of nits and lice are gone. Determine your camp’s philosophy before your camp season so you will be prepared should lice and/or nits be detected
Summer camp is definitely a high-risk place for a head lice outbreak. Lice love summer camp because they can easily go from head to head as kids get close to each other. We can definitely come to your summer camp to screen and treat. Let us help prevent a massive outbreak.
A head lice infestation is panic enough for parents, but what about our children? Children are very impressionable and for the most part, they trust us. So, the way we react to a head lice infestation will most likely rub off on our children. That’s why it’s important for parents to try to stay calm and at ease. That’s why it is important to try our hardest to stay calm and at ease. Comfort your children because they might be thinking the worst after finding out there are bugs in their hair. Let them know you’re going to take care of them. It’s our responsibility as parents to help our children feel safe and in good hands.
We recommend checking your child’s head for lice at least once a week and if you hear about an outbreak at school, check it every day. We know that kids are sometimes impatient and grumpy when we try to get in their personal space so we recommend checking their head while they are distracted playing a video game or doing homework or some other activity that gives you a good opportunity. Being thorough about head checks will help to catch lice before it gets really severe. The sooner you treat lice, the better the situation is for everyone. If you find out about a child at school or daycare or a sports team that has a head lice infestation, be extra thorough in your head checks.
There’s A Good Chance They’ll Get Lice
If your child is in elementary school, he or she is at the prime age for a head lice infestation. Your child’s head is like a ticking time bomb just waiting to be infested with lice. The lucky parents dodge head lice altogether and never have to deal with it. The unlucky ones are victim to an outbreak at school and the really unlucky ones have a child who got lice from their cousin out of town and they’re the reason for a head lice outbreak at school. That is never fun. That’s why we encourage parents to do frequent head checks. Anytime your child was around a lot of kids, it doesn’t hurt to check their head afterward. Your child may get annoyed, but it will save a lot of hassle long-term.
How To Explain A Head Lice Infestation To Your Child
Whether you explain what lice are to your child or not, is up to you, but there’s no reason why you can’t. Making it seem secret and terrible might make your child feel more scared than giving them a brief explanation of what is happening. We recommend making the lice process like a fun game for them and telling a story as you go. Give a head louse a name and make them the main character. There’s a book called “Bugs in my Hair” by David Shannon that does a great job at explaining head lice in a fun way. The facts mixed with playful fun make it easy to follow and fun to read. The book is a great way to explain a head lice infestation to your child. It’s a colorful and educational illustration with a little humor to lighten the mood of what can be a scary and anxiety-striking subject. This also makes them feel like they aren’t alone.
We know that the lice process can be ugly but there are ways to make it less scary for your child.