When kids are in school, they’re learning, making new friends and unfortunately, sometimes picking up head lice. As a parent, we know you may have questions about head lice and what to do if you learn that any of your children have them.
EXACTLY WHAT ARE HEAD LICE?
They are very small, about the size of a sesame seed, parasitic insects that feed off the blood under your scalp. They exist in three growth stages. They start out as nits, or eggs, and when these hatch, they become known as nymphs. These nymphs then take about seven days to grow into an adult louse, which is the singular form of lice. They never stray far from the scalp, and the nits are fastened to the base of a hair strand with a natural glue-like substance.
HOW DO THEY SPREAD?
An adult louse has six legs that are perfect for holding onto and moving along strands of human hair. They can’t jump or fly, so they have to crawl from one host to another. This typically requires direct head-to-head contact. Head lice can live off the head for brief periods, however, so they may be picked up from the hat, scarf or comb of an infested person if it’s worn or used by another.
WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF HEAD LICE?
There are a few signs that indicate the presence of lice. The person who’s infested may notice a tickling feeling on their head caused by the lice crawling around. Also, trouble sleeping can be a symptom since they’re particularly active at night. The symptom most people probably think of is itching caused by an allergic reaction to being bitten by lice.
ARE HEAD LICE A BIG PROBLEM?
The problem of head lice could be said to be large in scale but small in effect. It’s big in scale meaning that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that there are 6 to 12 million lice outbreaks reported each year. The problem is small in effect due to the fact that lice are not considered a medical hazard and are not known for spreading disease. They are more of a nuisance than anything, but children who get the aforementioned itching symptom may scratch enough to develop open sores, and this can become a problem.
HEAD LICE PREVENTION METHODS
The most obvious prevention tip is for you, as a parent, to tell your kids not to come into direct head-to-head contact with other kids and not to share hats, helmets, scarves, combs and other items worn or used on the hair.
OTHER COMMON TYPES OF LICE
Head lice are among the most common type of lice. There are, however, a couple of others and these are pubic lice and body lice. Body lice live and lay eggs in the seams of clothing. Pubic lice are, of course, typically found in the pubic area and rarely, if ever, on the scalp, so it’s hard to confuse them with head lice.
HEAD LICE TREATMENT OPTIONS
Lice treatment options abound with varying degrees of effectiveness. Some parents may give home remedies a try. These typically rely on a methodology of suffocating the lice by smothering the infested child’s scalp and hair with mayonnaise or olive oil. This would have to be followed up by trying to remove all the lice and nits with a lice comb. Most of these methods suggest doing the treatment several times, though, given that just a couple missed nits or female lice will mean the infestation happens all over again.
The other common approach is to go to the store and buy a lice shampoo. Unfortunately, many so-called “super lice” have become immune to the toxins in these products because they’ve been used for so many years. Another option is to seek out a lice salon or clinic that specializes in lice removal.
HEAD LICE REMOVAL IN CHADDS FORD
If your family is located near the Chadds Ford area, you might want to contact Lice Lifters of Chadds Ford, the best center for lice removal in Delaware County, PA. We also offer our lice removal service for Chester County residents At our lice clinic, our compassionate, certified lice technicians do a head check to verify the presence of lice. Once found, we utilize all-natural tools, techniques and products that are 100 percent safe and natural. Also, we can treat all of your infested family members at one time, and we’ll get everyone lice free in one visit.