As the family gathers together this Holiday season many parents are completely unaware that head lice can be a major problem during this time of year. With presents to wrap, cookies to bake, decorations to bring out and a million other things to get ready the last thing on most parents mind is preventing head lice outbreaks in their home. However, this time of year is no exception when it comes to the transferring of head lice, especially when cousins and family members come to stay!
Did You Know?
Children between the ages of 3-10 are more susceptible to head lice than any other age group.
People catch head lice most commonly through direct head to head contact. This means Christmas hugs, sleeping next to cousins in sleeping bags, or sitting by each other reading Christmas stories.
The next most significant way head lice are spread is through the sharing of articles of clothing or items that are carrying head lice or nits, lice eggs. Did your niece or nephew forget their hairbrush? Maybe you don’t want your kids to share when it comes to daily hygiene items.
Other items that pass on lice often are sweatshirts or hoodies, towels, pillows, stuffed animals, winter headgear or hair ties and accessories.
Head lice symptoms can take up to three weeks to manifest. By then, usually, a full-on head lice problem is apparent.
Adults that live in the same home as small children between the ages of 3-10 are much more likely to catch head lice.
Dogs, cats or any pets do not play any role in the transfer of head lice.
Winter time means that a lot of insects or parasites are dormant because of the cold temperatures, but not head lice. As long as they have a warm human host to keep them alive it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.
What Can I Do To Prevent Head Lice This Holiday?
Take the time to speak with children about the dangers of sharing accessories or items that can carry traces of nits or head lice.
Check your children’s scalp thoroughly before the holidays to ensure that they are not already carrying head lice.
Symptoms to watch for: red bumps or bites along the scalp, rashes and irritations on the scalp, itching that seems to worsen with time, and white, oval eggs that are laid on individual hair strands near the base of the scalp.
Make sure each person has their own pillow, blanket, towel and area to sleep. After guests leave it is recommended to wash all items in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to kill off any potential eggs or head lice.
Check your children’s head for any traces of head lice 2-3 weeks after the holidays to ensure no head lice were picked up during the Christmas vacation.
Lice Clinics of America is your BEST source for prevention and elimination of head lice. We care about your well being and want to help you get over this problem quickly and effectively. Give us a call today to talk through your questions!