After you have been dealing with head lice in your home, the last thing you want is a repeat of the problem! Dealing with weeks of stress and struggle and now, everyone in your family is officially head lice free. The next steps you take are just as important! Make sure your home is head lice free.
Sometimes the initial reaction can be dramatic. Throw away the bedding! Remove the mattress! Put the furniture outside! Or even, fumigate the entire house!
Is Fumigation The Best Approach to Protecting Your Home?
No. Using fumigation or chemical insecticides to treat your home for head lice is not necessary. In fact, it is NOT recommended. Pest control products that would kill head lice or nits contain chemical insecticides that can be potentially harmful to family members and pets if inhaled or absorbed into the skin. They are not necessary for removing lice from homes. The best approach to take is basic cleaning of carpets, bedding, tapestries, and furniture where fabrics could be harboring lice. Use bleach water or Lysol to clean surfaces and wipe off any traces of lice. Laundering of bed linens, clothing, and towels is also important to eliminate lice and nits. Make sure to use hot water and high dryer settings.
Would I be Better Off Calling Pest Control?
Pest control companies are not necessary for removing head lice and their nits from your home. Again, harmful pesticides and toxins can be damaging to your family and any pets living within the home. These extreme measures are not recommended as simple cleaning methods such as washing and vacuuming will effectively eliminate lice that could be lingering around your home.
Should I Bag items for Two Weeks?
Head lice need a human scalp to survive, period. Head lice will only live up to two days if they have fallen off of a scalp and do not have a host to provide heat and food. Nits or lice eggs will also die without the constant warmth and moisture from a human host. Nits that fall off or leave a scalp will die within a few day’s time. Therefore, the bagging of items is not necessarily the most effective approach in removing lice from personal items as long as appropriate cleansing steps are taken. Another alternative is placing items such as stuffed animals, plush toys or throw pillows into a hot setting on the dryer for 30 minutes. Don’t forget the bathroom towels! Towels touch hair often and are usually overlooked when you think about preventing head lice.
Dry Cleaning vs. Laundering at Home
You simply can’t go wrong with either option. Washing clothing, bedding, towels, or anything with fabric that would possibly be carrying lice or nits in hot temperatures of at least 130 degrees will eliminate the risk. Dry cleaning of items is also just as effective. However, you have to consider the best option for you as it is more costly and can be more difficult to remove all items and take them to a dry cleaning facility. If you have an effective washing machine at home to soak, wash and dry the items it is an excellent option.
Do My Pets Need to be Treated for Lice?
No. Pets do not pose any risk of carrying or infecting people with lice. Head lice are carried through human contact and are not a problem that involved cats or dogs in any way.
National Pediculosis Association (NPA), an organization that uses its time and resources to help educate parents about the importance of head lice health, has declared September National Head Lice Prevention Month. This is important because the education of head lice health to parents is the best preventive measure we can take for the general welfare of public health.
Their message to parents across the nation is this – Comb First! In an effort to help parents understand the risks of contracting head lice and how to effectively screen for it, they have added resources and an educational campaign against head lice on their website HeadLice.org.
This effort focuses on the importance of parents screening children for lice at home, knowing the signs and symptoms of head lice and working with schools to ensure parents are notified of proper procedures and policies.
The president of NPA, Deborah Altschuler recently stated, “Parents simply can’t rely on government agencies for proper guidance on lice prevention and treatment and must be prepared for pediculosis (lice infestation) regardless of school policy, FDA dogma or product marketing information.”
This statement comes as a recent backlash to many school districts across the country that have neglected to send notifications home after head lice outbreaks were found. Such as this weeks news report from a district in Wentzville, Missouri. The truth is, school districts are not always required to notify parents or do not take the time to do so.
National Pediculosis Associations message to parents is simple! Take the time to screen your own children. Educate yourself on the best ways to do so. Stay in the loop of your children’s school policies. Protect yourself and your children through preventative measures.
How Can Lice Clinics of Texas Help You Be a ProActive Parent?
We offer head lice screenings at our clinics. We can show you the proper way to screen for head lice, teach you what to look for, and even help you identify if you have a head lice problem.
The NPA urges parents to remember, “Everyone wins when everyone combs!”
Our staff can supply you with the top of the line combing tools available so that you can protect your child with head lice screenings often. The best times to check are often after shampooing when their hair is wet. Simply use the nit-picking comb to look through their hair strands, particularly around the nape of the neck, behind the ears, and at the crown of the head. This can go a long way in preventing a head lice outbreak.
Pesticide Shampoos Are Something We Steer Clear Of
Lice Clinics of Texas is proud to offer the latest technology in head lice removal. We offer safe, alternative methods to harsh pesticides and insecticides that can burn skin, absorb into the body and cause reactions. Call our clinic today to discuss your concerns or questions with a professional Lice Clinic expert!
“Parents who have a quality lice comb can identify and successfully end an infestation early and safely when there are fewer lice and nits present,” remarks NPA president Deborah Altschuler. “Each child protected from a pesticide shampoo is a victory for that child.“
Head lice do not fly or jump. They are caught by direct contact with another person who has head lice. Because of this, children are usually more prone to head lice than adults. Children don’t understand personal space or care about it as adults do. However, that doesn’t mean adults are off the hook. There are thousands of ways someone can catch head lice.
Children are most likely to catch head lice because they spend their days with other small children in places where they are within close proximity to one another. School settings, preschool, daycare, dance classes, gymnastics, sports competitions or practices are all likely places children have direct contact with each other. Children are also more likely to sleep over at one another’s houses where they could catch lice from another person’s bed, pillow, stuffed animals or blankets.
In fact, adults with small children at home are much more likely to contract head lice as well. Being in constant contact, sharing clothing and furniture with small children makes them vulnerable in ways other adults are not. Don’t let that fool you! There are several other ways every day any adult can catch head lice.
How Are Adults at Risk?
Head lice are also passed along by furniture or fabric that head lice or nits may be hiding in. Airplanes, buses, public libraries or other areas where people spend their time sitting on cushioned backed seats could potentially lead to head lice for adults.
Next time you are at the movies think of all the people who have shared your seat. The soft, cushiony headrest could be hiding head lice or nits. If an infected person rested there for the length of a movie that is plenty of time for a louse or two to find its way inside the fibers of the seat. Perhaps even an unhatched egg or two was left as strands of hair fell out or swept up against the seatback.
Crowded places can put you at risk for catching lice. Ever been in a packed elevator and had a few people standing uncomfortably close to you? What about a mall during a busy season where large crowds are trying to push through onto the sale rack? Adults love to mingle at parties, concerts, amusement parks, restaurants, stadiums, hotels, pools, or anywhere that the fun takes them. All of these places that are crawling with people, could also be crawling with head lice.
Clothing or blankets and pillows also put children and adults at risk. Sharing is just not a good idea, no matter what age you are. This includes things you might not think of like scrunchies, helmets, earphones, or even towels.
Although the risk is higher for school-age children, do not consider adults immune to lice. Take precautions in these areas to keep you and your family protected against lice. The Lice Clinics of Texas can educate you on preventative treatments as well if you are worried about contracting lice. We also offer head checks for the family to ensure everyone is lice free.
Parents! With Back to School here, it’s time to start thinking about head lice! Why is that?
Head lice are causing problems all across the country for school districts. New super lice, or lice that are showing strong immunities to over the counter products, are much more difficult to get rid of. This means they are spreading more rampantly in schools.
Usually, around this time of year, we see a rise in head lice problems. Back to school does indeed mean, back to head lice problems!
Lookout For the Following Symptoms:
-Even though it can take up to three weeks for full symptoms to start, the itching will begin pretty quickly after a head is infested. What causes itching? Bites on the scalp leave traces of saliva and open wounds that irritate the skin. Fecal matter from head lice left on the scalp also irritate it.
-Redness, irritation, swelling spots on the scalp and itching are all an indication you could be infected.
-Rashes on the scalp, near the nape of the neck or the crown of the head, are all signs that head lice are present. These are the areas they like to linger.
-Sleeplessness due to discomfort on the scalp is a concern. Head lice are nocturnal creatures and will become much more active at night, looking for food and crawling around the scalp.
-Head lice lay their eggs very close to the scalp. A glue-like secretion is used to cement the egg onto a single hair strand. This means it will be much more difficult to flake off than dandruff.
-Head lice reach adulthood about 14 days after they hatch. At this point, they can easily be spotted on the scalp if you thoroughly look. Sometimes they scurry quickly away from bright lights and burrow into the hair or skin.
What Every Parent Needs to Know This Back to School
If you spot any or all of these symptoms on your child you might be stressed about what to do next. Panic and disgust can be initial emotions, but try to remain calm. With the help of Lice Clinics of Texas, you can beat this head lice hassle quickly!
Schedule an appointment with Lice Clinics of Texas. We will do a head lice check to make sure you are dealing with head lice. It is wise to have every member of the household checked to ensure that the problem does not spread through your family.
Talk to your school nurse if you have concerns. Your child’s teacher should also be aware so that they can delicately alert other parents to the situation. Sometimes friends and family can also be excellent resources. You never know, they could be going through the exact same scenario! Your child had to catch head lice from someone…it was most likely someone close to them!
Parenting comes with moments that can be frightening. Talking to your kids about sensitive subjects is one of them. Head lice are not fun for anyone. People who get infected with head lice are often ashamed, embarrassed and feel gross. That begs the question, how do you talk to your child about head lice without making them feel bad, dirty or disgusting?
Our Best Advice – Do Not Overreact
We get it! Head lice are super gross. What’s more revolting than a creepy, blood-sucking bug? Lots of creepy, blood-sucking bugs on the scalp of your precious, little child! It is easy to be disgusted and have a moment of panic. As parents, it is important to stay calm. If you are visibly upset than image how much more anxious your child will feel.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind: head lice just happens. In fact, head lice often prefer clean hair to dirty hair. There is absolutely no correlation between hygiene and contracting head lice. With that being said, hygiene does help eliminate head lice but initially doesn’t play a role in who is passed head lice.
Avoid Responses Like:
“Who have you been playing with? Those kids always look dirty!”
“Yuck! Please don’t hug me. I don’t want to catch it!”
“Ugh! It’s so gross! There’s so many!!”
“How could this happen? Have you been washing your hair?”
What Should I Do When I Realize My Kid Has Head Lice?
–Take a few moments to gather your thoughts if needed. Remember, you are the grown up! If you are regularly checking your child’s scalp for head lice, this will not be such a shock for you. If you haven’t been screening them and you suddenly just realize they have a head full of lice this can be cause for alarm!
–Arm yourself with accurate information. Lice Clinics of Texas is an excellent source for you to contact. Learn about how head lice are contracted, how to eliminate them and prevent them.
-Proceed with patience. Keeping your cool and remaining positive is the best approach for your child.
#2 – When your child contracts head lice it is common courtesy to let their close friends parents know, their teacher and school nurse. This does not mean it needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Discretion is important. It is appropriate to ask others to use discretion as well.
#3 – Children look to their parents for safety and security. You are there to offer support and solutions. Not to make them feel worse. Be their safety net and this could end up helping build trust in your relationship.
#4 – Lice Clinics of Texas is most trusted resource for helping you eliminate head lice from your life.
With the fast pace world we live in today, why should head lice care be any different. Lice Clinics of Texas is your quick, painless solution for head lice removal. Over the counter shampoos, doctor prescribed shampoos, powders or treatments products simply do not work as quickly.
The majority of parents we encounter come to us after weeks of using harsh, chemical-based products that have left them fuming mad and still scratching their heads! These products are not working and cause a lot of frustration.
Lice Clinics of Texas should not be your last line of defense! We offer real solutions, for an affordable cost. Don’t waste your valuable resources – money and time trying to get rid of head lice on your own. We are here to help you!
Professional Staff Is Knowledgeable and Helpful
We know that this situation can cause high stress and frustration. We did not get into the head lice business because we enjoy dealing with creepy, crawly bugs! Going to work every day is rewarding after seeing the relief on parent’s faces when the problem is GONE! We love to help little boys and girls feel better and safe knowing the head lice are off of their scalp.
Our team has treated thousands of people for head lice. We are your professional source as to how to prevent head lice, eliminate it and stop it from spreading. If you have any questions about how the treatments work, or what options are best for your family please don’t wait! Head lice spread more quickly every day. The longer a person is a carrier, the more likely head lice are passed onto other members of their circle.
Kids bored this summer? Here are a few fun, thrifty and fast ideas to get their little brains working!
Boredom Buster #1- Make a recipe book.
Help your children think of their three or four favorite meals, desserts, and snacks.
Using recipe cards, or even colored cardstock help them write out each recipe in detail. Go to the store and allow your child to purchase the ingredients needed. Then, for the next few days let them help you make the recipes for your family!
Not only is this a great way to help entertain your child, but it also helps them long term by learning to plan shopping lists, grocery shop and make their favorite foods!
Take a few fun pictures of your child preparing the food! Place the recipe cards in a binder or memory book along with a few of the pictures for them to keep! Now you have a recipe book for them to use a resource when they move away to keep forever!
Boredom Buster #2 – Lemonade Stand
Lemonade stands are not just for lemonade! Brownies, cookies, Rice Krispie treats, or many other baked goods are also a big hit with neighborhood kids! But, why stop there. Snowcone machines or cotton candy machines can be purchased at a reasonable price and will be quite a hit!
Make sure your child has a safe, visible spot for cars to see as they pass by. They can make banners, signs or flyers beforehand to help create more customers!
Once your child has made some money, this is a great opportunity to help them learn money management and to be responsible. The next time they want to open their lemonade stand, have them help with the expenses and learn about running a business.
Boredom Buster #3 – Put on a Play or Musical
Children love to be the center of attention. Help your child get their creative juices flowing by suggesting they gather up their friends and put on a play! Find some classic storybooks or let them come up with a whole new concept.
Writing out the play, gathering costumes from family members closets and even experimenting with makeup or hair can make the summer very fun and memorable! Let them use props from the house, get some building supplies such as large cardboard boxes or old pallets and create scenery! This could mean hours of fun and planning for your kids this summer!
At Lice Clinics of Texas, we value relationships. Taking time to ensure your children have fun, enriching experiences this summer is a win-win for everyone! Here’s to hoping your summer is safe and memorable!
Your home is your safe place. When you discover it is infested with head lice you panic! Rest assured, properly cleaning up after head lice is possible! Here’s a quick guide to help you do it properly.
Step 1- Wash Bedding
Remove all bedding. This includes mattress covers, pillows, pillowcases and even stuffed animals that could have come into contact with head lice or nits, eggs. Large items can be taken to a laundry mat to be washed. Or, they can be stuffed into large garbage bags and left for 72 hours.
Head lice and nits need a human host to live. If they wander onto an item, such as a stuffed animal or pillow they will not survive past 24 hours. Eggs as well will dry out and die if not on a human scalp past 24 hours. Some experts recommend bagging items for a week or two to make sure, but honestly, that seems excessive as head lice or nits will be long gone after 24 hours.
Blankets, pillows, sheets, and other washable items should be soaked, washed and dried in high heat temperatures reaching at least 130 degrees. Dry cleaning is also an effective approach that will kill head lice and eggs. It is important to act fast, whichever method you choose.
Step 2 – Wash Clothing
Sometimes the bedding and blankets are obvious to parents to clean, and the clothing of children is overlooked. Items such as hats, coats, jackets, scarves or even towels recently used an harbor head lice or nits. Wash all items properly and dry on high heat for at least 30 minutes to prevent spreading.
Step 3 – Sanitize Hairbrushes and Accessories
All items used on the hair or scalp need to be collected, have all hair strands removed, and disinfected. This includes brushes, combs, hair ties, hair clips, headbands, or accessories. One easy method is to throw everything on the top shelf of a dishwasher. Run it through a normal cycle. But beware, high heat settings can cause plastic items to melt.
Another good option is to boil a pot of hot water and soak items for at least five minutes. Other people use rubbing alcohol, soaking items in it overnight fully immersed will thoroughly disinfect hair items. There is no need to throw them away. These methods will quickly and easily make them safe to reuse.
Step 4- Wipe Down and Sanitize Furniture
Any chairs or couches that could have eggs or head lice should be scrubbed with warm wet cloths. If the surface is hard or leather, we recommend a cleaner such as bleach or Lysol that will not damage the furniture. However, hot water and soap with a little bit of elbow grease should do the trick.
For regular fabric furniture, vacuum the area thoroughly. This is an effective way of killing possible head lice and eggs laying around the couches or chairs.
Step 5- Thoroughly Vacuum Floors
Now that your furniture and bedding are head lice free, carefully and meticulously vacuum the carpet. This is a good way to make sure that any head lice or nits that could’ve been knocked off while cleaning are removed from the home. Remove the vacuumed contents into an outside trashcan.
Can I Just Fumigate My Home Instead?
No. Fumigation, fog insecticides or pesticides of any kind are not recommended in removing lice and eggs from your home. Sometimes harmful toxins from these chemicals can be inhaled or absorbed into the skin posing a health threat to your family and pets. A thorough, deep cleaning is the most effective, safe way to proceed.
Are my pets at risk?
No. Pets do not play any role in carrying or transmitting head lice.
Summer is finally here! Swimming pools, ice cream cones, and lemonade stands are in full swing! Kids are super excited to attend summer camps with their sports teams, bands, church groups or friends that share similar interests.
Did You Know?
Summer camps are an $18 billion a year industry. What better way to help your kids cultivate interests, develop skills or make new friends than sending them to a fun summer camp?
According to summer camp resources, more than 14,000-day camps are running across the United States every day. Half that many provide overnight experiences for kids. This provides hours of fun for over 14 million kids every summer! What does that mean for head lice?
Summer Camp Head Lice Outbreaks
Warm, humid environments with lots of children close together equals head lice. Lice Clinics of Texas has the opportunity to help. We provide head lice checks for several summer camps in the local area. By doing this, we can screen kids on the first day of camp and supply camp administration with proper treatment in case a head lice infestation is found.
If your camp does not provide screening, send your child equipped with knowledge. Most kids won’t give head lice a single thought. Talk to your child about sharing pillows, blankets, hats or even jackets with other children. Make sure they know to use their own hairbrushes and accessories.
Most often though, head lice are passed on through direct head to head contact. Which, honesty is almost impossible to prevent between close friends at summer camp. With that being said, check your child before and after camp to ensure they don’t bring home any unwanted stragglers. Not sure what to look for? Bring them into our Lice Clinics of Texas for a head lice check.
Camp Policy and Procedures
Before you send junior off to summer camp, contact the adults in charge and ask about head lice policies. Will they be performing head lice screenings? Is there an on-site nurse who is aware of symptoms and signs? If they do not have a plan set up, suggest screening and treatments being provided for those needing them. Stopping the problem from the get-go is the best way to prevent an outbreak.
Have Questions? Please contact Lice Clinics of Texas today! We are here to help you.
Lice Clinics of Texas can help ease your pain and stress from head lice. We understand that when you discover one, two or three people in your home have head lice, it almost always leads to anxiety and feelings of confusion! Where should I go for help? Should I treat it myself at home? What treatments will actually work? How did this happen?
Here are a few tidbits of information that can help you along your head lice journey.
1. Lice Can Infect Anyone
Head lice are not more often found in dirty or clean hair. In fact, studies done show that head lice are equal opportunity human parasites. Unless of course, you have no hair. Bald heads have no risk of getting head lice. There is no correlation between hygiene and contracting head lice. Except, hygiene can play a large role in how quickly you are able to be rid of head lice.
Head lice affect all races and are genetically equipped to hang onto human hair strands with a tight grip that makes them very difficult to remove. However, we more commonly see girls with head lice than boys, which is probably just because they usually have longer, flowing hair that is more easily infested than short hair from boys.
2. Your Child Has Probably Had Lice For a While
Head lice symptoms will usually take at least three to four weeks to manifest. This is because once head lice infect a head, they need 7-9 days for their first eggs to start hatching. The average head lice infection is not discovered until there are at least 15-20 adult lice on the scalp. The first sign is itching. Head lice leave traces of saliva each time they take a bite and suck blood from the scalp. This saliva is actually what people show allergic reactions to, causing itchiness on the scalp. Most often head lice are found on the crown on the head, behind the ears, and the back of the neck. Check these places of signs of red bumps, or bite marks that could indicate head lice.
3. Head Checks Are The Best Way To Detect Lice
The sooner you find lice, the sooner you can get rid of them, preventing them from spreading to anyone else. Nobody wants to be the reason for a lice outbreak at school. The only way to catch lice early on is to perform head lice checks at home and to do it often. Get a nitpicking comb to sift through hair, and be sure to check the crown of the head, behind the ears and the nape of the neck. This is where head lice tend to hang out. Do it weekly if they are young and daily if there’s an outbreak at school. One of the most common mistakes we see is that parents don’t check the adults in a home for head lice. We are seeing much more head lice in teens and adults as a result. Make sure all family members are screened before you declare your home head lice free.
4. We Offer The Best Lice Treatment Around
If you need lice treatment, look no further than our clinic. We are here to answer any additional questions you may have about head lice and the proper way to treat them. Please don’t hesitate to call our office today!