February 14th is a celebration of love. Loving your family means protecting them from harm, which definitely includes head lice! Every year in the United States between 6 to 12 million children will catch head lice, according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the majority of these children will be between the ages of 3 and 10. If these little ones bring head lice into the home, everyone else is at risk of infection as well. Show our love by going the extra mile in keeping your home head lice free.
Quick Ways to Prevent Head Lice in Your Family
- Talk to your kids about how to steer clear of head to head contact. Head lice do not fly, jump or run. They crawl from one person’s head onto another. Or, quite commonly lice find their way into the fabric seams of hats, coats, or any other material close to the head. Once someone new comes along to provide a home for them, they hitch a ride on their scalp. Talk to your kids about not sharing hats, hair brushes, helmets, hair bows, hoodies, beanies, or any type of accessory that comes into contact with the head. This includes phone accessories that teenage children come into contact with every day. The selfie has been deemed a modern lice transportation. Not only do jr. high and high school kids take close selfies together, but they often post on social media sites and watch youtube videos together for extended periods of time. Remind them to be cautious of head to head contact.
- Steer clear of sleepovers. We all know someone who has caught lice from a friend’s house. When your children spend time in someone else’s home make sure they understand that using blankets, pillows, stuffed animals or towels from someone else’s house could be a mistake. Try bringing your own belongings. Throw them in the dryer on a high setting for 20 minutes to kill any lice or nits when they return home.
- Take time to pull your girl’s long hair back before she heads out the door. Girls are more likely to catch head lice when they wear long hair. Longer hair provides more heat to head lice and their eggs and also more hair for them to grasp onto. Pull hair up into quick ponytails, braid it back or throw it under a baseball cap. Whatever look you choose, it is an easy way to help her steer clear of a head lice infection.
- Head lice checks at home can go a long way in preventing a whole home infestation. Take a few minutes every couple of weeks to inspect your child’s scalp. With a fine tooth comb, look through strands for signs of irritations, inflammation, red bumps, or yellow eggs the size of a sesame seed along the base of the scalp. Finding a live louse is difficult as they steer clear of direct light and will burrow into the scalp to prevent detection. These other signs are more likely ways to see if there’s a problem. Contact our office if you have any questions or concerns. Head lice detection can be tricky to diagnose. We offer head lice checks from professional, trained personnel who know what to look for.