Tackling Another Outbreak During COVID-19 Isolation: Head Lice

When non-essential businesses and schools went into lockdown in light of the novel coronavirus as early as March, the last thing on anyone’s mind was head lice. But as people who went into the lockdown with their loved ones and family members can attest, a global pandemic was not enough to keep head lice at bay! There were all kinds of ups and downs as we tried to adjust to a life of living at home, and spending quality time has definitely been a plus. But guess what? Living in close quarters and limited access to lice salons in Lawrence, NY, means that you’re sharing more resources than you think—you’re sharing lice too! There are several things that we weren’t prepared to handle when the pandemic hit, and that’s okay. We all have had to adjust in our own ways; for some, the learning curve may have been steeper, but if you’re used to chaos, you probably rose to the occasion.

The challenges of self-isolation: from homeschooling to head lice!

Working from home became convenient slowly but steadily. However, working parents had to put their multi-tasking skills to the test because they were also homeschooling and investing more time and energy in childcare. From overseeing homework and getting household chores done to still managing to show up to work meetings, it can get overwhelming. Tackling head lice? That’s a curveball you probably didn’t expect. Suddenly, you have to be an expert at performing lice removal services at home a well? Stranger things have happened, though, and we believe in you! Some parents took this opportunity to appreciate and acknowledge the hard work that teachers and other childcare workers put in every day. Several celebrity parents shared their experience of homeschooling their children during the pandemic and the impact it was having on their relationships. This is, no doubt, a time to reach out to those who work diligently for us, be it, healthcare workers, service staff, teachers, and even lice specialists! The time we spent together was a learning opportunity and a chance to grow and strengthen our bonds. Whether it was more time spent catching up, talking, reflecting, doing outdoor activities, learning new hobbies and skills, watching old home videos, or unique movies, we learned to make the most of it. But as social beings, no number of steps can mentally prepare us to adjust to isolating at home and cutting off life and ties with the outside world. Public spaces were out of reach, schools were shut down, and many people either had to work extra hard from home or be laid off. There were many challenges that presented themselves. While we were practicing all necessary precautions mandated by the CDC to prevent the risk of COVID-19, who knew there was another storm brewing: head lice. Father holding his son on his shoulders and spending quality time together

Why was there a noticeable increase in head lice cases?

There was an alarming spike in lice cases during the stay-at-home mandate and lockdown. The likelihood of the infestation impacting the entire family increased due to more time spent together, and the impact in some states was significantly higher than others. There are three main reasons why this occurred:
  1. Firstly, schools were shut down unexpectedly, and children started staying at home immediately. This means that those who hadn’t been identified so far as head lice carriers were sent home without families being notified. The families could not get a heads-up or take preventative measures to mitigate the situation.
The consequences of this were multiple cases of family-wide infestations. Usually, only a sibling or the primary caregiver would be most likely to get head lice after a child brought it back. However, since the whole family was at home all the time and sharing the same space more frequently, there were more opportunities for head-to-head contact.
  1. Secondly, this time, the infestations were more severe because they remained unchecked for longer. The key to head lice management is early intervention so that the situation can be contained before the lice start to multiply faster. Many parents generally find themselves unaware that their kids have nits until lice infestation becomes severe.
  2. Thirdly, several lice clinics were closed, and parents were unable to get the professional help that guarantees lice removal. Yet another skill they had to master and perform themselves.
When schools reopen, which according to the deadline for New York state school districts, is already underway, children are going to interact and hug like they used to before. This means that parents need to take preventative measures and prepare themselves for more head lice infestations. Let’s take a look at what safety measures are in place for children going back to school and what that means for head lice treatment options in Lawrence, NY. Parents helping their daughter get ready to go back to school

What is the way forward?

Governor Cuomo has allowed schools to reopen and classes to resume, albeit part-time. The criteria for schools to reopen in the fourth phase is that the daily infection rate should be below 5% in a 14-day average. Some of the measures implemented for the plan to reopen include:
  • School districts will be required to post learning plans and comprehensive discussion sessions with parents.
  • Regular health checks need to be administered to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Plans to implement maximum social distancing in schools to keep children safe.
  • Enforcing mandatory face coverings for staff, students, and faculty.
  • Hallways can only allow one-way flow of students
  • Disinfection of doorknobs, handrails, handles, bathrooms will be done 24/7
  • Each classroom cannot have more than 12 children
  • The entire student population will not be in school at the same time unless these protocols are followed strictly.
 A group of students standing close to each other However, there are still several ifs and buts in place that don’t guarantee that in-person learning will be enabled for students before September. Several other cities are holding off and encouraging remote learning for the new school year, including Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. The Department of Health is also required to give their approval for the plans, and unless they give the go-ahead, a school district cannot reopen. The complete guidance includes measures for health and safety, safe transportation to and from school, emotional health, nutrition, and flexible scheduling. It also takes into account the technological obstacles that will impact those with special education needs. In light of state-mandated school reopenings, and kids going back to school again, the threat for head lice infestations continues. Parents whose children have head lice need to take urgent measures to make sure they avail proper head lice removal services before sending their children back. However, with social distance measures in place and lice removal services like ours working rampantly to provide services, head lice can be contained easily.  A woman inspecting her daughter’s hair to check for lice

What can you do as a parent?

While the decision for schools reopening remains in limbo, as a parent, you have to confront the possibility of going back to work. Not only will you have to make sure your children are taken care of at home, but you also have to ensure that you don’t return to work with lice in your hair. If there has been a past occurrence of head lice in your family, you might be well-aware that even though they’re not dangerous, they can be difficult to get rid of. Perhaps, you’re in need of a re-education in lice prevention and treatment. Let’s refresh our memory. While it’s advisable to treat head lice as soon as you spot them, sometimes we don’t know the best way to check for head lice or how to get rid of them. If you’re a new parent, you might not even know what head lice are. Contact a professional lice removal salon or lice treatment service ASAP!

Common signs and symptoms of head lice

Head lice are insects without wings that live and feed off the blood in the scalp. They don’t carry or spread diseases, but their bites can irritate the scalp causing your scratch the head rigorously. This can also cause your skin to break and may lead to infections. Head lice also don’t particularly care about good or bad personal hygiene. It’s best to take action as soon as you suspect head lice. Here are some common head lice signs and symptoms.

Keep an eye out for lice eggs or nits

Nits are tiny white or yellow specks that look like dandruff but aren’t easy to flick off the hair or remove by brushing either. These are found most commonly near the hair shaft close to the scalp because it’s warm enough for them to hatch quickly. You’re more likely to spot nits in the hair before a live, crawling louse. However, it doesn’t take long for them to hatch after they are laid—around 1-2 weeks at most.

Spotting adult lice means you need to get a move on

A full-grown adult louse will be as big as the size of a sesame seed and can vary in color as they usually blend into the hair. Baby lice are known as nymphs and are slightly smaller than an adult louse and turn into adults in a couple of weeks. The entire life cycle will continue to repeat itself in 3 weeks, as long as the lice continue to live and feed off the scalp. They don’t tend to survive off the scalp for more than two days.

Persistent scratching

Lice can make your scalp itch and your head scratch and because the skin may have an allergic reaction to the lice saliva. Not every scalp will react this way, and some may even not react at all. It depends largely on the sensitivity, so be cautious if your child complains of feeling like something is tickling their head, behind their ears, or on the back of the neck.

Bumps on the scalp

Other kids may experience a mild irritation that can develop into a rash or even a bacterial infection. If you spot any swollen lymph nodes or tender skin, consult a doctor for treatment. You will have to sit your child down and search their head in plenty of natural light or under a bright light with a fine comb so you can divide the hair into small sections.

Finding the silver lining to isolation: regular lice checks and proper lice prevention with our help

At our Lice Troopers clinic based in Lawrence, NY, we have always been advocates of gentle, pesticide free, chemical-free lice removal services and even offer a lice-free guarantee with our straightforward treatment. Our lice removal specialists remove lice using specially designed products that don’t leave even a single nit behind. We use safe, cutting-edge technology for head screenings and non-toxic treatments to remove all the bugs and eggs in one session. On top of that, we even offer a 100% money-back guarantee! However, if you’re not comfortable stepping out yet, feel free to avail our discreet in-home lice removal services in Lawrence, NY. Our team of professionals arrives at your home in unmarked cars, and we ensure that all lice removal specialists follow the necessary SOPs. They will then proceed to carry out the pesticide free, chemical-free lice treatment services performed in our salon. Want to take extra measures? We don’t blame you! To be completely satisfied, you can opt for our exclusive home inspection and lice cleaning services. We make sure to target all possible infested areas, including thoroughly cleaning all bedding, vacuuming rugs, carpets, and furniture. This is followed by securely packing infested items in airtight bags because we want to make sure we don’t leave behind a single parasite. This significantly reduces the chances of a full re-infestation.

Help Yourself to Regular Lice Checks with Our Exclusive Lice Treatment Kits

We want to be as inclusive as possible, especially for all our customers who are staying at home and social distancing. We are offering lice treatment kits packaged, including some of our favorite pesticide free products that remove lice and nits and give you the hair you deserve without damaging it. You can also shop our lice prevention and lice extraction products to keep those pesky parasites at bay. We believe that proper lice prevention and regular lice checks can mean no head lice in circulation in a post-COVID world! Call us at (516) 693-8711 to find out more about our professional lice removal services in Lawrence, NY.