Head Lice: A Parent’s Guide to Survival

Even though, children are the affected by lice the most, (approximately 6-12 million children in the Unites States alone), it’s usually the parents who end up panicking more. Finding a louse on your child’s head or watching them scratch their head frequently are symptoms you are most likely to witness first and foremost. The most important thing to do when you find out about a lice outbreak in your child’s school is to stay calm! Have a conversation with your children about lice to make sure you are all well-informed about it. Here is the most basic parent’s guide to surviving lice this back to school season!

What are lice?

The scientific term for a lice infestation of human-head and body louse is pediculosis. Lice are ectoparasites that treat humans as hosts. There are three different types of lice: pubic lice, head lice and body lice. Head lice infestations are the most common, especially in children. Some parents are likely to get lice from their children and this is one of the causes for missed working days for some adults. Even though head lice don’t carry diseases, missed school and work can impact the productivity levels of both children and adults.

How do lice spread?

Contrary to popular belief, lice don’t fly or jump, they can only crawl. This is how they transport themselves from one head to another person’s scalp when children hug or sit together. Poor personal hygiene or dirty homes are also not the cause of head lice. Lice are impervious to dirt because they are more interested in feeding off blood and not dirt. lice spread Nits are eggs of lice that look similar to dandruff and are stuck to strands of hair. If you spot something that looks like a white speck on someone’s hair, and you are unable to brush it off, it’s probably not dandruff and a nit. This is the best time to seek professional treatment to remove nits and possibly lice.

How to treat lice?

It is better to avoid over the counter treatments as lice have developed resistance to these treatments and are now immune to them. Natural remedies are discouraged because some contain ingredients that can be potentially harmful to you or your children. The best option is to consult a professional lice doctor who will be able to recommend the right course of treatment which is safest and most reliable. Lice clinics are better at making sure the treatment is most effective and ensures that no lice come back pre-maturely. If you suspect a lice infestation or have been informed by your child’s school of a lice outbreak, seek professional help immediately. Lice Troopers offers professional lice treatment services in Coral Gables and we also offer lice screenings in school to catch an outbreak early. Visit our website for more information.