Head lice are spread most often from direct head-to-head contact with an infested individual, but they may also be spread by sharing hats, headphones, pillows, hairbrushes, helmets, towels and airline seats. Also, “selfies” have become a recent trend in picture taking and provide a direct mode of transportation for the little pests. Lice do not jump or fly but crawl rapidly through the hair. They also have claws which help them to cling firmly to the hair shaft. Having head lice is not a sign of dirtiness or poor hygiene. Lice infestations can be a problem for kids of all ages and socioeconomic levels, no matter how often they do — or don't — wash their hair or bathe.
If you have children, the odds are rather high that your family may end up with lice. Parents should refrain from blaming other children and families as it is not possible to find the exact source and only creates stress and hurt feelings. Instead, parents should proactively screen and treat their families.
The combing is the key! Meticulously and carefully combing the hair to remove nits and lice is the best and safest way to successfully control and eradicate an infestation. If all nits, lice, and nymphs (baby lice) are not removed, re-infestation will likely occur. This process should be repeated every day for two weeks. This will remove all missed bugs and nits missed during the initial combing. See what Consumer Reports says about the effectiveness of combing.
Many chemical lice treatments available in stores are not 100% effective in killing lice or their nits (eggs). Within days after using these shampoos and treatments, a new case may hatch. Also, many have questioned the safety of these products which may contain toxins or pesticides, including pyrethroids.
Lice can survive only for a short period of time on clothing, bedding or personal items. For peace of mind, it is best to wash the sheets of anyone being treated for lice. Hair items such as brushes, combs, pony-tail holders and ties can be placed in a ziplock bag and put in the freezer for 24 hours. While many parents feel the need to bag up all stuffed animals and bedding, this is not necessary.
Contact Amy McConville at firstname.lastname@example.org 703-474-6801.