There are so many different approaches to parenting. When it comes to head lice and children, this is no exception. Some parents worry themselves to death before it even happens, and others are in denial that it ever could happen! When it comes to finding that safe zone where parents are informed and prepared, life gets a little bit easier for kids and parents!
How ready are you for a head lice outbreak? Take our parent pop quiz and see how much you understand about head lice!
Question #1 – Why do head lice need a human host?
- They don’t. Head lice can live on any number of animals, pets or even birds.
- Head lice are exclusively a human parasite that lives off human blood and warmth to survive.
- Head lice eat human hair and can survive without a human host as long as they have a food source, such as a hairbrush.
Question #2 – What time of the year do head lice outbreaks occur?
- Head lice are active all times of the year, with more occurrences seen during spring break, summer breaks and back to school time.
- Head lice are only active during the summer months when it is warmest.
- Head lice are dormant all winter and come out for spring, summer, and fall.
Question #3 – What should you do to clean your home if someone has head lice?
- Only worry about washing pillows that touch the head. Everything else is unaffected and not a threat.
- Wash all bedding, sheets, towels, stuffed animals. Deep clean carpets and clothing. Place items that can’t be washed in the warm dryer for 20 minutes.
- Take everything out of the child’s bedroom and sanitize it. Throw away bedding and clothing and replace with new.
Question #4 – What does hygiene have to do with Head Lice?
- Head lice prefer dirty, oily hair and therefore people who do not wash their hair often are more likely to catch head lice.
- Head lice like clean, fresh hair and will only attach to someone who is clean.
- Head lice do not have a preference to clean or dirty hair, and everyone is at risk equally.
Question #5 – What causes the itching?
- The feeling of lice crawling on the scalp creates a tickling, irritating itching sensation.
- Itching is a result of an allergic reaction to the saliva and fecal matter of lice on the human skin.
- Both of the above.
Here are the answers to the questions above. How did you do? Remember, you can always contact Lice Clinics of America for more information. Our trained staff deal with head lice every day! We can help you through this problem safely and effectively.
Answer #1 – Head lice are human parasites. They cannot survive off of a human host for more than a day or two. Pets do not play any role in the transfer of head lice.
Answer #2 – Head lice are active throughout the entire year, but are seen peaking at spring break, summer camp, and back to school.
Answer #3 – Deep clean all bedding, sheets, towels, stuffed animals, and anything else that could be harboring head lice. Deep clean all carpets and clothing. Dryers work great for items like backpacks or non-washable things. There is no need to throw away and purchase new. This process will eliminate head lice and their nits.
Answer #4 – Head lice are no respecter of persons. They love dirty and clean hair just the same. It is FALSE that head lice are more attracted to dirty, unwashed hair.
Answer #5 – Both the crawling of head lice on the scalp and the allergic reaction caused by saliva and fecal matter from adult lice can cause severe itching and irritation on the scalp of their victims.