No matter how spooky your costume is this Halloween, an even scarier thought is bringing home head lice after a haunting night of fun and festivities. When ghosts and goblins, vampires and zombies unite for games, dancing, and trick or treating fun, the truth is that head lice happens more often than people realize. At Lice Clinics of America, we always see a spike in head lice outbreaks during the scariest time of year.
Why do head lice outbreaks occur during Halloween time?
Kids compare costumes and try on each other’s costumes for fun.
Children wearing masks can’t resist passing it around to their friends for everyone to have a turn.
Wigs and hats that are part of spooky ensembles are likely to be shared as they can also be fun to try on and wear together.
Anytime that children are spending time together, those involved are more susceptible to catching head lice.
How can I protect my child against head lice this Halloween?
As a parent that the most important thing you can do is to educate your child. It is almost impossible, however, to prevent head lice 100%. Yet, a simple reminder that sharing headgear, costumes, robes, wigs or outerwear for the cold is not a good idea can help you to eliminate the problem.
Perform head lice checks on your child before and after Halloween festivities. Acquire a nit picking comb and sift through your child’s scalp. Be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of head lice or nits. These include:
Red bites or bumps on the scalp
Itching and irritations
White or transparent colored eggs laid near the base of the scalp. These will not flake off easily like dandruff.
Adult lice crawling around the scalp, brown in color and the size of a sesame seed.
If you are not comfortable performing these on your own, Lice Clinics of America offers head lice screening at your local clinic. We can show you what to look for, help you determine if you have a head lice problem and give you expert advice on how to prevent and cure head lice.
If your child attends several Halloween events, take the time to wash or disinfect their costumes before they re-wear them. This includes masks, hats, robes or all pieces that their hair comes in contact with.
What do I do if my child has caught head lice this Halloween?
Remember, symptoms of head lice can take up to three weeks to manifest. The nits that are laid will hatch after 7-9 days and symptoms will start to escalate.
Also, if you do see signs of head lice, don’t make the mistake of thinking that washing the hair is good enough. MedicoRX shows us that head lice are capable of holding their breath for up to eight hours. Water is not an effective tool against eliminating or preventing head lice.
Super lice are now a super big problem across the United States. Several reports indicate the super lice are indeed immune to common over the counter products. This not only makes head lice more difficult to get rid of, but it can literally turn into a nightmare for parents.
Don’t let head lice haunt you this Halloween! Call our Lice Clinics of America office today to talk about our preventative measures and the most effective products on the market at eliminating head lice. We offer expert advice and professionalism that you will not find anywhere else.
Many parents are unaware of how common a problem that bullying has become across the nation. Bullying is a serious issue that should not be brushed off or treated as an average childhood problem.
Bullying is defined on kidshealth.com as “ intentional tormenting in physical, verbal, or psychological ways. It can range from hitting, shoving, name-calling, threats, and mocking to extorting money and possessions.” Social media is becoming a huge outlet for cyberbullying in recent years. Parents should always be aware of what is going on with their child’s social media accounts and check them frequently.
A national survey on StopyBullying.gov shows that about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.
When your child contracts head lice, they can become the target of bullying among peers and classmates.
Take Care Who Finds Out About the Problem
Although it is extremely appropriate to let individuals in your life know about the head lice problem in your household, proper care should be taken to make sure it does not become a community-wide announcement. Trusted, sensitive parents of your child’s close friends and neighbors, responsible adults at the school and anyone else that could be affected by the head lice problem who you know will use discretion should be notified of the problem.
Keep in mind that this situation can be humiliating and embarrassing for children, especially teens. Only inform those who need to know.
What Should I do If My Child is Bullied for Head Lice?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that up to 12 million children will catch head lice in the United States this year alone. Let your child know that most people will have to deal with head lice in their lifetime. It is a common problem that is not life-threatening or detrimental to their health. It does not label them as dirty or gross.
Children’s personalities are so different. There are many approaches that might work for your specific child. Here are a few tips for helping prevent bullying:
–Stand up to the bully. Teach your child to respond in a firm, strong voice that they will not be pushed around. Sometimes this will help the bully back off because your child is not an easy target.
-Other children will do best to approach the situation with humor. Have them come up with a joke or be prepared to laugh at themselves in the situation. Humor can take the bully by surprise and show them that your child is not affected by their degrading remarks.
-Children who will not respond well to pressure or be too afraid to stand up need to flee the situation as quickly as possible. Leave and find an adult.
-The first thing that a child should do is inform a teacher, principle, recess guard or any trusted adult who will listen.
-Teach your child to avoid physical fighting. This will only escalate the problem and get them into trouble.
–Keep up the communication. Talk to your child often and ensure that the problem is indeed resolved. Be the trusted adult that can help them come up with a plan and prevent bullying.
Many times as parents there are things you look back on and think….what could I have done differently? How could I have prevented this? Don’t let head lice be one of those situations! Ultimately, there is not a “fix all” solution that can guarantee to protect your family against head lice. However, as a proactive parent, there are some things that can be done to help in the fight against head lice. Take a look over this list of ideas and decide which ones you can implement into your busy schedule.
Head Lice Prevention Tips for ProActive Parents:
Teach Your Kids About Head Lice. We all know that children are more susceptible to head lice than adults. This is because they spend more time together in groups, don’t value personal space and are often playing and active together. Head lice are passed along through direct head to head contact most often. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show us that up to 12 million children will contract head lice in the US this year alone. That number is on the rise as more and more teens and preteens are passing along head lice as well. Teach your kids what head lice are, how they live and the symptoms of head lice. An excellent website for a resource is Easy Science For Kids.
Teach Kids About How Head Lice Are Passed. If you are telling your kids not to share hairbrushes and leaving it at that…you are making a mistake. Props for at least addressing the subject, but there is so much more to it than that. Do you have teens who spend hours on a smartphone or small handheld devices? Maybe your daughter is the selfie queen of her high school? Are your young kids spending reading time at school on the same bean bag as three other students? Do you have kids in sports sharing equipment and lockers? These are all scenarios where kids need to be aware that head lice can be transferred. Direct head to contact and contact with an item that is contaminated are the top ways head lice are passed. Teach them to be careful.
Become Informed Yourself. Parents with kids at home should know what to look for if your child has head lice. Three weeks is usually the amount of time it will take for full symptoms to start showing. First, nits or lice eggs can become visible very near your child’s scalp. They will be clear in color and blend in with the hair. Each egg is laid with a glue-like secretion that sticks it to an individual hair strand, making it much more difficult to pull off than dandruff or dry skin. Secondly, your child will start to feel itchiness, irritation from fecal matter and saliva and red bite marks on the scalp. Thirdly, you may be able to see traces of head lice or nits on pillows or areas that touch their head. They may also be feeling tingling or tickling sensations on their scalp that will escalate at night time.
Check for Symptoms Often. It may seem over the top to check your child’s scalp for head lice every few weeks, but it will almost certainly be worth it if you catch the problem early on. Lice Clinics of America sell nitpicking combs that are excellent for sifting through your child’s hair and searching for clues of a head lice infestation. Checking often can also give you the chance to remind your kids to be cautious. Remind them to be careful about direct head to head contact and sharing items. Lice Clinics of America also offer head lice checks in your local clinic. The professional staff can help you know what to look for, and determine if you have a problem.
Don’t Think It Won’t Happen To You. Above all, remember that head lice can happen to anyone! It is something that affects clean hair, dirty hair, people from all walks of life. No matter how proactive you have been, there is still always the chance it could happen to you. Stay on top of head lice with these few tips and make the process much easier for you and your family. Lice Clinics of America is your best source for treatments and advice on head lice. Contact the clinic for further information or questions.
To ensure you properly eliminate a head lice infection it is important to take the right steps. Many people can feel overwhelmed at the thought of their family being infected with head lice. Your head can spin at the thought of, “What do I do now?” or “Is there anything I forgot?”
Take care to read through our head lice checklist. Properly walking through each step is the only way to thoroughly eliminate head lice from your home and your life. Remember, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that this year up to 12 million school-age children will contract head lice in the United States. That means that adults, elderly and teenagers living with these small children are also at a great risk for infection.
Head Lice Checklist: Take the Right Steps
Screen Every Member of Your Household.
Lice Clinics of America offer head lice screenings at your local clinic. These can provide you with an expert opinion on who has head lice and how bad the situation is. Remember, pets do not transfer head lice.
Treat Those With Symptoms.
Head lice can only effectively be killed if the active lice AND their nits, or eggs, are killed. Many over the counter shampoos and products do not accomplish this. Lice Clinics of America have several excellent options available to thoroughly kill head lice AND their nits. In clinic treatments are provided that can dehydrate the head lice and eggs in a single process. At home kits are also available that provide everything you need to be successful at killing head lice at home. The best part, we also offer expert advice. Our staff can help you determine which option is best for you and how to proceed.
Deep Clean All Hair Items.
Anything such as hair brushes, hair combs, hair towels, hair picks, hair clips or ties need to be thoroughly disinfected. There is no need to throw items away. Soaking them in bleach water for 30 minutes, rinsing them and drying them will be enough to kill any traces of head lice. Don’t forget items that are in purses, backpacks or lockers. These could also be infected.
Deep Clean Bedding and Clothing.
If your child has head lice anything that has come into close contact with their head or scalp could be harboring head lice or eggs. This is an easy way for them to become reinfected. Place any backpacks, winter coats, hats, bedding, pillows or other items in the washer. Wash in warm water. If not able to wash, place items in the dryer on a high heat setting for 30 minutes. Still not convinced? Place items in a plastic bag and seal up tightly for a few days to ensure all active lice and nits are suffocated. Head lice cannot survive for over 48 hours once they have left the comfort of their human host.
Even places that you may not think about such as area rugs, recliners, sofas, bean bags, etc could have traces of head lice. Get out your vacuum and get to work! Items such as leather sofas or car seats could be wiped down with a wet rag to dust away any traces of head lice.
Stay Vigilant About Checking Scalps.
The next few weeks it will be extremely important for you to continue to check for symptoms or signs of head lice. Staying on top of the problem is half the battle!
This is just another story of a family who endured head lice. Sharing my experience and what I learned from this trial helps me think that it was maybe worth going through.
We live in a small country town in Texas. My children attend school in a 2A division with only a couple hundred kids in each school. I have one daughter who is 15, a son who is 12, and a daughter who is 10.
My oldest daughter is a High School cheerleader. She loves being a part of the squad, attending football games and feeling like a part of the community through cheering. Part of the comradery of the cheerleaders is that they spend a lot of time together after football games, often spending the night at someone’s house altogether. It never occurred to me to talk to her about not sharing pillows, blankets or brushes at these parties. That was my first mistake.
After a few weeks of football last year I was braiding her hair for a game. I noticed a few white flecks that seemed to be a little different than dandruff, but I just shrugged it off and forgot about it. That was my second mistake. But, in my defense she hadn’t been complaining about itchiness, I saw no signs of head lice and so I actually thought it was residue from hairspray or something similar.
After another few weeks, I noticed a few more! This time they looked more suspicious to me and so I took some time to get a comb and thoroughly examine her scalp. She had head lice! I could see not only traces of nits, lice eggs that had been laid onto strands at the base of her scalp, but I actually found a few adult lice crawling around! I couldn’t believe it! How could this happen? I felt sick. She was so embarrassed. I promised her I wouldn’t tell anyone about it.
As most parents do, I felt overwhelmed. I sent my husband to the drug store where he bought a couple bottles of over the counter shampoo. We washed her hair multiple times in the sink and then applied the special shampoo and scrubbed it really well to hopefully kill all the head lice. Then after her hair was dry I combed through it again and peeled off as many of the nits or eggs that I could find. It seemed like the problem was under control and I knew I would just check again in a few days. This was my third mistake.
Little did I know that the products we washed her hair with are not only useless against some forms of head lice, but they don’t kill the eggs that I missed. It is almost impossible, like literally infuriating to go through a thick head of long hair like hers and try to pick out every single little egg. Obviously, I missed a few and the problem just came back!
I checked my other children for a few weeks, and just went ahead and washed their hair with the shampoo to make sure they were clean. This was my fourth mistake. They all three ended up with head lice. Now my problem had turned into an absolute nightmare. I had no idea what to do, I was losing my mind.
Finally, after talking to a friend on the cheerleading squad (it turns out several of the girls had contracted head lice) I found out about Lice Clinics of America. Their unique process of killing head lice in a one time 90-minutes process seemed too good to be true at first. Now, after having experienced it first hand I am a believer! I can’t imagine what we would’ve done if this cycle would’ve continued any longer. I am so grateful to have had their expertise and knowledge about how to actually get rid of the problem!
What I Learned:
Check ALL your children often for signs of head lice. Not just the young ones.
Talk to you kids about ALL the dangers of contracting head lice, not just hair brushes.
Don’t rely on over the counter shampoos that are not effective.
If you see suspicious white flakes, take a closer look. Ask for a head lice check from a pro if you are uncertain.
Don’t be afraid to talk to friends and parents about the situation. You never know if they are dealing with it also or can offer help!
Some parents feel so overwhelmed when they discover a child has head lice that they don’t where to start! Lice Clinics of America is an excellent resource for any parent who is dealing with the stress of head lice. We are often asked which options do we recommend for getting rid of the problem quickly and how long will it take to work?
Let us break down the different treatments to consider for eliminating head lice:
Treatment Option #1 – The AirAllé Device
The most recommended head lice treatment is theAirAllé device, a new procedure that has taken the industry by storm. This process takes just about 90-minutes, is done right in our Lice Clinic of America and has been proven to be over 99% effective in a single treatment.
Pros:Lice Clinics of America is proud to provide this amazing technology to our clients. If you are tired of dealing with head lice outbreaks, want to eliminate the problem once and for all, and need a quick solution – this is the right choice for you. It is done with a one-time payment and you can leave the clinic head lice free.
Cons: This procedure will only be 100% effective if you do your part to ensure your home and belongings are deep cleaned and free from traces of head lice or nits. Just as with any treatment, you need to be cautious about reinfection.
Treatment Option #2 – At Home Treatment Kit
Lice Clinics of America also offer at home treatment kits that provide you with effective shampoos, nitpicking combs, and everything you need to safely and thoroughly eliminate the problem at home.
Pros: These products use ingredients that are safe and effective against head lice and their eggs. They are easy to use, offer clear directions, are not too messy to apply and can be done within your own time frame at home.
Cons: Directions must be followed to ensure success. It requires patience and time. Reapplication is necessary for most products 10 days apart to be sure all lice and nits are eliminated.
Treatment Option #3 – Over the Counter Shampoos and Home Remedies
For years parents have relied on home remedies and over the counter shampoos from local drug stores to take care of a head lice infestation. All over the web, you can find remedies that people say have worked for them, but the truth is that there is just no evidence or scientific proof to back up their claims. We see parents every week who have gone this route and ended up with weeks of headache and stress, coming to us for real solutions.
Pros: Inexpensive, done at home.
Cons: Does not work. You will be left with nits on the scalp, adult lice that are not killed and continue to lay eggs on the scalp, and traces of head lice throughout your home. We do not recommend relying on these methods as you will most likely end up with an even worse head lice infestation after a few weeks.
Growing up is hard to do! Many experiences your child will have need to be recorded so that they can learn and grow from them. Many parents have found that children who write out their feelings and thoughts are better equipped to handle their emotions throughout their life. Happy kids are able to express themselves and learn from their mistakes and experiences. One excellent way to accomplish this is for your children to keep a journal.
It’s as simple as this:
Find an empty Mason Jar.
Let your child decorate it.
Print out the journal prompts and cut them into single strips.
Set aside a time each week for your child to pull out a strip and answer the prompt in their journals.
Journal Jar Prompts for Kids
How many dreams do you remember having and what were they about?
Who is your favorite superhero and why?
When I grow up I want to become a……
What is my favorite past time and why?
Who is my best friend? What do I love about this person?
Why do I enjoy school? What would I change about school?
If I could learn one new skill it would be…
My hero is……. And why I want to become like them?
What has been the scariest thing to happen to you? What did you do to overcome it?
What is the best thing to happen to you?
Who do you want to be like when you have grown up and why?
If you could run your school for one whole day what would you do differently?
Which subject in school is your worst and what can you do to be better?
How are you like your father?
Tell me about your grandparents? What memories of them do you love the most?
If you had $100 what would you buy?
How many people help you during the day? How?
If you woke up one morning and you had turned into an adult, what would you miss most about being a kid?
What skill do you want to develop that you are not very good at right now?
I love it when my mom…..
I love it when my dad…..
My favorite holiday time tradition is….
Why is school important to you? What can you do to make it better?
If you lived to be 100 years old who do you think you will become?
Where have you visited that you loved to go?
How many people do you think you have helped? How?
What are you good at that you can get really, really good at?
What musical instruments do you like and want to play?
Which type of music makes you want to dance?
Is there something you really want to do in life but you are kind of afraid to?
How are you like your mother?
Where would you go on vacation if you could do anything?
Who would you spend the night with camping if you could choose?
What sport do you wish you could get really, really good at?
What is one thing that has been hard for you that you overcame?
Have you ever made someone really happy? What did you do and how did you feel after?
Name two people who you have admired.
Why do you like bedtime?
What is your earliest memory?
What dreams do you have that you have never told anyone?
It’s that time of year again when kids grab their new backpacks and join their friends for a new school year! As parents send their kids off with a hug and a lunchbox, many are not thinking that this could be the year their child brings home head lice. Yet, every August and September we see a significant increase in the number of head lice cases. Back to school is prime time for head lice, as children are once again around large groups of other children.
What Should Every Parent Be Aware of This Back to School?
-Head lice do not fly or jump. They are passed most often through direct head to head contact. Is your child finding a new buddy to wrestle with at recess, or share a book with on a bean bag? These types of encounters can easily pass on head lice from one child to the next.
-Head lice can survive off of a human host for up to 48 hours. This means that if your child is using a hat, hoodie, helmet, pillow or any item that has traces of head lice they can contract it if it is within that time frame.
-Children between the ages of 3-11 are the most at risk for head lice. Teen and preteens are also showing up in our clinics more often as super lice and social interactions are increasing their risk of infection. Any adults whose children are younger are also more likely to contract head lice.
-Due to the overuse of the active ingredient in most head lice shampoos, super lice are showing immunity to these products. This is causing head lice to be harder to kill and outbreaks to be more prevalent.
-Head lice do not show a preference for clean hair or dirty hair. Personal hygiene does not play a role in who is infected with head lice.
Signs and Symptoms to Be Aware Of
-Note that head lice symptoms can take up to three weeks to manifest after the initial infection.
-The first sign is most commonly redness, irritation, swelling on the scalp and itching.
-Traces of saliva and fecal matter from adult lice cause irritation and rashes on the scalp.
–Night time can be when head lice are more active, or just when your child is more aware of the feelings of crawling and moving on the scalp. This can cause trouble sleeping and discomfort.
-Nits or lice eggs are laid close to the scalp. They are attached to a single hair strand with a sticky substance that makes them difficult to remove. They will not fall off or flake like dandruff.
-Adult lice are difficult to spot as they are quick to move away from direct light. If spotted, they are the size of a sesame seed and light brown in color.
Remember, Lice Clinics of America is your local source for questions or concerns about head lice. Need help identifying head lice? We offer head lice checks and can help you evaluate your problem. We also offer in-clinic treatments that guarantee you will leave our office head lice free.
We know that dealing with a case of head lice is a major cause of stress. Especially, when you are the parent and responsible for getting rid of the problem. Here’s a little head’s up from Lice Clinics of America to you. There are items lingering around your home or in your child’s daily life you may not ever think to check for head lice or nits. A louse can survive for 48 hours after being separated from their human host. This means that if they find a new head of hair to invade during that time they will jump at the chance.
These six things could have lingering lice and need a deep cleaning. Double check to ensure your child is not reinfected!
#1 – Backpacks or Sports Bags
When a child participates in any number of recreational activities, it is common practice for items of all team members or participants to create a heaping pile of belongings on the floor as they get ready for practice. Whether that is hoodies, sweat towels, shoes, duffel bags, hats or any number of items, these piles of potentially head lice-ridden items could be infecting your child’s belongings as well. Make sure duffle bags or backpacks are thoroughly cleaned and any items that could have nits or head lice are heated thoroughly in a dryer or wiped clean with bleach water. Talk to your kid about keeping their belongings separated at practice and away from others items.
#2 – School Lockers
In today’s world of super lice and selfies, head lice are becoming a bigger problem among teens and preteens. If your child has a locker at school, shares a locker with someone or even a locker at home, ensure that all items are properly cleaned and head lice free. Small spaces like lockers are the perfect place for head lice to make their way onto your child’s belongings.
#3 – Towels
It is obvious that you would deep clean pillows, bedding sheets, and comforters when your child has head lice. But, did you think about bathroom towels that they are using to dry their hair with every night? The interwoven fabric of towels is an ideal place for head lice or nits to hide in. If a towel is reused by someone else in the home or the same child over and over, they may be reinfected.
#4 – Stuffed Animals
A recent study showed that when a child is feeling anxiety, one remedy is to reach for Mr. Stuffy. Kids love to sleep with stuffed animals to help them feel security and peace. If you have not gathered up all stuffed animals from your child’s room that they could have possibly infected with head lice, it would be a good idea to place them in a dryer on a high setting for 25 minutes.
#5 – Hoodies and Jackets
Just because an item doesn’t necessarily touch a child’s head, doesn’t mean it is free from head lice or nits. Items such as hoodies or jackets where lice could have fallen onto or brushed up against should also be deep cleaned. If these items cannot be washed, dry clean them or wipe them down with bleach water.
#6 – Headphone and Earbuds
Did you know that head lice are found most commonly around the crown of the head or behind the ears? For this reason, headphones or earbuds that are shared by multiple children, or teens are often an overlooked culprit for passing on head lice or nits. Make sure these items are properly cleaned and talk to your teen about not sharing items with friends.
Parents all over the country are learning the hard way that, YES! Head lice are an extremely common problem. In the event that your child contracts head lice, a million questions can run through your mind. How common is head lice? How did they get it? Who is at risk for catching it? Lice Clinics of America wants to help you through this challenge any way that we can.
Here is a list of information parents may not know when dealing with a case of head lice:
-Head lice are considered extremely common. The exact number of head lice cases cannot be known for sure, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 12 million children between the ages of 3 to 11 will contract head lice each year in the United States. That makes it a pretty common problem among elementary schools, daycares, church groups or anywhere that children dwell.
– Head lice are listed as one of the top three reasons children miss school. No-nit policies are changing across the country as schools begin to understand how head lice are transferred and the risks that nits actually pose. Check with your local district to make sure your child is not missing school unnecessarily.
–High Schools and Jr. Highs are reporting higher numbers of head lice outbreaks as well. Some experts think this could be because selfies are causing kids to come into closer proximity to one another more often. Others believe handheld electronic devices such as Ipads, cell phones or gaming devices are making kids spend more time sitting closely with their heads pressed together trying to view a small screen. Regardless, teens and preteens are showing more and more cases of head lice, so don’t think they are immune.
–Super lice are creating situations where parents do not know how to get rid of head lice. Over the counter treatments and home remedies are not working. This is causing the spreading of head lice to be more and more common as the problem is not alleviated in ways that it was in the past.
-Head lice are NOT considered dangerous but definitely considered an annoyance. They are not a public health risk.
-The most common way head lice are transferred is through direct head to head contact. Due to this fact, people living in the same household are also at risk of contracting head lice. Having every member of the family screened for head lice is a must in order to really tackle the problem.
–Pets do not carry head lice. Therefore, they do not have anything to do with the catching or spreading of head lice.
-Head lice will die after 48 hours if they lose their human host. Clean couches, bedding, clothing or anything that can be harboring head lice or nits to ensure they are not passed on.
–Back to school time, summer camp sessions, spring break vacations, and winter breaks are all times we see significant spikes in head lice outbreaks. Other scenarios also present a high risk for infection such as playing on a sports team, sleepovers, attending daycares, etc.
–Do NOT panic! Lice Clinics of America is your best source for solutions to your head lice problem. Call our clinic today to schedule a visit!