Little Timmy was so excited to go to the zoo. He had never been on a class field trip before and was happy that his first one would consist of giraffes and gorillas. He knew exactly which outfit he would wear and already had his sack lunch packed and ready to go. Nothing would stop him from going to the zoo for the first time, not even an itchy head. Yepp, that’s right, Timmy got head lice and didn’t tell his parents so he wound up giving it to his friends and contributing to a head lice outbreak at the zoo. There were plenty of opportunities for those lice to spread as kids gathered close together to take pictures.
Luckily, Timmy’s parents had talked to school’s officials about head lice procedures at the beginning of the semester so they knew exactly how it would be handled, which is something we recommend for all parents with school-aged children.
Beginning Of The School Year
We recommend all parents to talk to their child’s school officials about head lice procedures at the beginning of the year before a head lice outbreak occurs. Nobody is in a state of crisis; everyone is calm and the real stress hasn’t hit yet. It’s helpful to know the processes and procedures in place for a head lice outbreak. Do they have a no nit policy? Are kids allowed to come to school if they knowingly have lice? These are some questions to ask. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “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.” That being said, it is important to know the school’s opinion on a head lice outbreak as well.
We’re All In This Together
If you’re the one who finds lice on your child’s head, contact the school nurse to let them know. If another child had a head lice outbreak, you’d want to know about it, right? This allows the school to let parents know to check their child for lice. Letting school officials know will help the head lice outbreak be as mild as possible. The CDC states that “Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) advocate that “no-nit” policies should be discontinued.” One of the biggest reasons they believe this is because “The burden of unnecessary absenteeism to the students, families, and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.” We can all find comfort in the fact that head lice are not dangerous. They are also extremely common.
If The Teacher Discovers The Head Lice Outbreak First
If the school calls you to inform you that your child may have head lice, don’t get offended or embarrassed or get angry with whoever called you. School leaders are just doing their job and most of the time, they will help you in the process. You may not have ever dealt with lice before, but they have many times. Listen to their counsel and work with them, not against them.
Come To Us For Treatment
Lastly, if you’re in need of head lice treatment and safety is important to you, we have head lice treatments that won’t expose your child to harmful chemicals or pesticides. Give us a call to book an appointment.
We do everything we can to protect our children. But you may be surprised at the ingredients used for lice treatment throughout the world. Benzyl alcohol has been reported to cause skin and irritation. Lindane (Kwell) and Malathion are extremely toxic to the human nervous system and have even led to death. Tea tree oil has been reported to cause breast growth in boys and early breast growth in girls as early on as 4 or 5 years old. These are all substances found in common lice treatments used on children – in our country. Shocking, right? When you examine what is in these products, it’s pretty scary.
A recent article published by Yahoo reports some disturbing data that links a common chemical found in head lice treatments to behavioral difficulties in children. They pulled research from the journal, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, which found that “children who had higher levels of certain pyrethroids — which are synthetic chemicals used in insecticides such as head lice treatments and some mosquito repellents — in their system, were more likely to display abnormal behaviors at age 6 than those who didn’t.”
What are Pyrethroids?
A pyrethroid is an organic compound similar to the natural pyrethrins produced by the flowers of pyrethrums. Pyrethroids now constitute the majority of commercial household insecticides. Yes, the same chemical used to nspray and kill insects in or outside of your home are present in many lice treatments to kill bugs on your child’s head. That’s a little concerning.
According to the Yahoo article, “Pyrethroids work by damaging the nerves of insects, killing them in the process and scientists wanted to see if they had a negative impact on children as well. (Permethrin, an active ingredient in the most popular drugstore lice treatments, is a pyrethroid).”
How Did They Test This?
Researchers began by measuring levels of five pyrethroid metabolites in the urine of women in the early stages of pregnancy, and later, in their 6-year-olds to see if there was a link between being exposed to the chemical in utero and childhood, and behavior that could suggest neurodevelopmental damage.
About 600 women filled out a questionnaire about socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, their child’s behavior, and various things their child had been exposed to. Psychologists also did behavioral assessments on the children, along with taking urine and dust samples.
There was then a behavioral test conducted on the children by using a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, which is a validated behavioral screening test for children, with a focus on altruism (how social they are), internalizing disorders (the inability to share problems and asking for help), and externalizing disorders (being defiant and disruptive).
Three of the pyrethroid metabolites showed up most often in the urine of mothers and their children: trans-DCCA, cis-DBCA, and cis-DCCA.
After conducting long-term research, they concluded that mothers with higher levels of cis-DCCA in their urine during pregnancy were more likely to have children with a higher risk of internalizing behaviors. Higher levels of another metabolite, 3-PBA, in the children’s urine was linked with a higher risk of externalizing behaviors. Overall, children with the highest level of metabolites in their urine were three times more likely to have abnormal behavior than those with lower levels. As a result, the researchers concluded that pyrethroids might alter neurochemical signaling in the brain.
To reiterate, many common drugstore lice treatments contain this very chemical that has been shown to cause neurological damage, resulting in behavioral abnormalities in children. This study will send chills up any parent’s spine. But the good news is you don’t have to use a lice treatment that has detrimental effects on your child.
This past weekend, we all enjoyed a legendary Super Bowl. The New England Patriots and Tom Brady played one of the best games in the 50-year history of the game and were crowned NFL champions.
Do you have a junior football champion at home that deserves a crown? Make sure the crown wasn’t on the head of someone infested with head lice. School sports encourage our children to share victory, share goodwill and share helmets? Uh Oh!
Yes, sharing helmets is one of many ways that children can transmit head lice. As soon as kids start swapping helmets, head lice emerge as a problem. A good precautionary measure is to have your child use their own helmet. After the game, during the team huddle, be careful about bumping heads as well.
How Can Parents Help Their Children?
What are some ways parents can help keep their kids from getting head lice? Education — Explain to your children that head lice are spread from direct contact. They should not share hats, scarves, coats, combs, brushes, towels, sports uniforms, or like we mentioned previously, helmets!
More than 12 million children will contract this common contagion each year. Children are often in close contact with each other transmitting the parasite, and it is not a fun thing to deal with.
Head lice lay eggs that are hard to see and remove. They are called nits, and they secrete a sticky glue-like substance, which makes them adhere to the hair shaft close to the scalp. The nits are what make treating head lice difficult, as it takes only one nit to hatch and then you will have active head lice. An active head louse will lay 6-10 nits a day which then hatch within 7-10 days. If you get a head lice treatment and even one nit is left behind, say hello to another head lice outbreak starting all over again.
To announce our new Lice Clinics of Texas location in San Antonio, we are celebrating with a Holiday Open House Party on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1-3pm. We will enjoy refreshments, Christmas music and cookies, free head checks, and a visit from Santa himself. (Yes, even Santa can get lice!) Each family who joins us will also receive a 50% off coupon to be used on a future lice treatment.
We are very excited to show off our newest location. We are now open for business in San Antonio and can eliminate your lice problem in 60-90 minutes. Call 210-960-LICE to make an appointment. Check out this video tour of the new clinic:
Please join us at Lice Clinics of Texas on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 1-3pm at 13457 Blanco Road in San Antonio, TX 78216. We look forward to celebrating the holidays with you!
At Lice Clinics of Texas in Houston and Austin, we can thoroughly check to assess if anyone in your family needs a lice treatment. You can be assured that we use the most effective method for diagnosing lice by dry combing the hair for eggs. The good news is there’s no chance of paying for an unnecessary treatment. We can show you evidence of the outbreak and take care of it right away. And, if you have one treatment, then checks for the whole family are free. Our lice treatments are quick, chemical-free and guaranteed for up to 6 weeks!
If you are lucky and you are lice-free, the cost is just $25 per person for the check + $10 for the lice comb, which you can take home. If you have more than four family members, additional checks are just $10/person.
The next time you are worried about lice or see your kids scratching, don’t hesitate to call and make a head check appointment. We can give you peace of mind. There’s no reason to worry about the process. We can take care of everything and stop an outbreak right away.
At Lice Clinics of Texas, we have the only treatment based in science to kill nits. Lice combs can get out bugs, but no lice comb can easily pull out all of the nits waiting to hatch in the hair.
We work every day by appointment in our clinics. Email or call us with a time that works for you, and we will set it up. We treat age 4 and over, and please arrive with clean, dry hair.
Lice Clinics of Texas (formerly Lousted) is thrilled to again attend the 2016 Campference meeting for Texas summer camps. Owners Michelle and Jessica, treat eight of the camps in the Texas Hill Country, and attended the meeting to spread the news about LCA’s unique approach to eliminating lice at camp. Using only hot air, uses a device which kills lice and eggs in one treatment – even before the kids get to their cabins. It is the best way to quickly, safely and effectively stop a lice outbreak at camp. LCA is planning for another great summer visiting camps.
Lice Clinics of Texas (formerly Lousted) is excited to announce a new location in Houston! We are conveniently located at 14745 Memorial Drive, right near Dairy Ashford in 77079. Owners, Jessica and Michelle, are thrilled to bring their breakthrough technology to Houston to help the community eliminate lice in one treatment. The Lice Clinics of Texas approach takes about an 1-1.5 hours, does not use pesticides and is GUARANTEED for 30 days. The best news is it does not require any follow-ups and no combing at home. All of this happens in the cute LCA shop with flat screen tvs, iPads and snacks. Michelle and Jessica strive to provide the most effective lice treatment in a soothing and pleasant place.