Published on October 27, 2017
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that U.S. residents report up to 12 million head-lice cases per year. For some perspective, that is twice the population of Missouri! Read more information and view these tips for preventing head lice.
It’s surprising that this epidemic persists despite advances in medical science and pest control. Head Louse Parasites, in fact, are wingless insects, but how can you keep these pesky critters at bay?
The concept may seem simple. Surely, there’s a spray out there that can do the job, or maybe excellent hygiene habits can do the trick? You may be surprised to learn that not every treatment that is used for the parasite is effective, nor can hygiene prevent infestations.
How, then, can parents and teachers keep children safe from lice? This article will introduce three tips for preventing head lice outbreaks:
Teach children about the risks involved in sharing clothes. The Head Louse (singular) or parasites can transfer from person to person on hats, helmets, combs, scarves and even small hairpins. These are wingless creatures, so the most common way they travel is through direct contact.
Screenings and head checks are vital for schools and other social centers. Major infestations can cause students to miss class and workers to call in sick.
However, regular hair checks from a lice clinic can prevent small problems from escalating. If even one child in a school has contracted head louse parasites, several children could easily have the same problem. So, never pass off one case as an insignificant issue.
The eggs or nits are tough to spot. Checks require thorough examination behind the ears, the most likely place for them to lay eggs. Look for white, oval-shaped eggs sticking to hair strands. These are easier to see in natural, outdoor sunlight or next to a window.
Did you know that the head louse actually likes clean hair more than oily hair? It’s true, so how about we add another tip: Don’t bathe your child! We’re kidding, of course, but make sure your child understands that hygiene is not the cause of a head louse infestation or outbreaks. After all, if your child gets infested with them, you wouldn’t want other children thinking he or she practices bad hygiene.
If you work at a school, daycare or community center where children socialize, scheduling a screening and head check can help prevent a small problem from becoming a major outbreak. For more information on preventing or treating head louse parasites, contact our Miami lice clinic at 1-800-403-5423.