What You Should Know About Head Lice

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By Lice Technician Jessica Teague

Below LiceDoctors lice technician, Jessica, shares with you lice information that she gives to her clients:

Lice. A simple word that can cause panic in even the most seasoned parents. People tend to think that those who have lice are dirty and unclean but this is actually not true. These little buggers are a bit misunderstood, they actually prefer fresh, clean hair to that of oily hair. So the question is, what do you do when you find out that someone in your household has lice?

First and foremost, do not panic. red stamped letters read DON'T PANICTake a deep breath and understand that this happens to many households and says nothing about your home or your family. Lice is common and can happen to anyone. Once you understand this, you are ready to proceed with the best way to not only remove the lice from whomever in your home has it, but also prevent it from spreading to other members. 

When dealing with lice there are several things you should try to remember:

  1. Having lice is not reflective of your family’s and your home’s cleanliness. Lice prefer fresh, clean, and oil free heads. With that being said, lice like to be very social in that they are most often discovered in group areas or locations where many people are going to be hanging out such as schools, camps, gyms, locker room and movie theaters. Lice are most often found on children between the ages of 5 and 12. This is because children within that age range are more likely to keep their heads near each other, which is the main way that lice are spread. In addition, young children also share hats, hair ties, bows, helmets, clothing, all of which contribute to easy spreading party for lice. However, lice can not fly or jump so they do need direct contact in order to be transmitted.

  2. Lice, thankfully, do not have a long life span once off of the head. Lice only will live 24-36 hours once they have left the head. Because of this, you do not need to go into a frenzy to wash and clean your entire household. Washing and drying sheets and pillows that you or your loved one had been using may help, but maintaining a proper lice treatment procedure will prevent any lice from crawling back onto the head and laying additional nits. Also, lice only infect people, so no need to worry that your furry family members could end up with lice!

  3. Another large concern with lice is that your child is going to be missing school due to the lice. The American Pediatric Association deemed that there was no reason that a child should be kept home or excluded from school or any activity due to the finding of lice. This is because not only is lice not a dangerous medical illness, even if it’s an inconvenient one, by the time a child is diagnosed with lice more than likely that child has already had lice for at least 2 weeks, if not more.

  4. Once you have gone through the process of having the lice removed, what can be the best way to prevent another infestation in the future?

    • It might sound crazy to some but do not wash your child’s hair child with sudsy hair peeking out of tubevery day. As mentioned, lice like clean hair so going a day or so in between hair washings will create a build up of natural oils that make it more difficult for the lice to attach.

    • Teach the kids to avoid sharing objects that come into contact with their head and hair. Sharing is caring but, in this circumstance, it’s best to refrain.

    • Regularly conduct lice checks in a brightly lit room, part the hair, and check all over the scalp.

    • Invest in products that are designed to deter lice. LiceDoctors offers a fantastic array of products, including shampoo, conditioner and a spray to help deter lice.  https://www.licedoctors.com/shop.html

Lice can be a very daunting diagnoses but remaining calm and using the help of professionals can certainly make this process a lot less stressful. If you would like to speak to a lice expert and/or set up an appointment for a home visit, call LiceDoctors in Marin County at 415-578-1245 . You will be glad that you did!