What Are Head Lice?
Dreaded, reviled head lice can throw life into a tailspin for a busy family in Lancaster County, PA! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 6 million to 12 million cases of head lice occur each year in the United States among kids between the ages of 3 and 11. It’s also common for kids infected with lice to pass infestations to parents, teachers, and others.
Head lice are wingless insects that feast on blood from human scalps. In addition to causing annoying itching, lice can also create serious health risks. Anemia, bacterial infections, and scarring can all be caused by an untreated lice infestation. Here’s a look at the telltale signs you have lice:
- Itching on the scalp, neck, and ears. Itching is actually a result of an allergic reaction to louse bits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take up to six weeks for someone with lice to experience itching as a symptom.
- Visible lice on the scalp. While lice are notoriously hard to spot due to their quick movements at the first sign of light, you may see them racing around on your scalp if you look closely.
- Visible lice eggs (nits) in the hair. While nits are tiny, they can sometimes be spotted around the hairline and ears.
- Sores covering the scalp, neck, and shoulders. Unfortunately, the sores can become infected with bacteria due to chronic scratching.
Lice infestations linger because lice are resilient. Washing hair won’t be enough to kill lice. These merciless biters can actually hold their breath in water. It’s also nearly impossible to comb lice and nits from your hair without professional intervention.
How Do You Get Head Lice?
The fact that someone in your household has contracted lice isn’t an indictment of your personal hygiene. Anyone can get lice. Lice outbreaks tend to spike during back-to-school time in the fall, the holiday season, and the post-holiday season. The “classroom” is the most common place to catch lice. Daycares, preschools, elementary schools, camps, and other places where kids congregate create perfect conditions for lice to spread.
It’s easy for lice to hop from victim to victim using hair as a bridge. Any activity that involves hair-to-hair contact provides a perfect environment for a lice outbreak. This can happen during a sleepover, bus ride, hug, or close chat. However, many people are surprised to learn that they don’t actually have to directly touch a person with lice to end up infected with lice.
Lice can use objects that come into contact with the scalp to hop from victim to victim. Using a hat, scarf, hoodie, brush, towel, or headset that belongs to another person can put you at risk for lice. The same goes for combs, brushes, hair ties, and headbands. In addition, resting on a plush surface that was just used by another person can also expose you to active lice. Couches, bedding, bus seats, train seats, plane seats, and soft chairs in waiting rooms can all be transfer points.
How to Prevent Head Lice
The most important rule for preventing head lice is to avoid both direct and indirect head-to-head contact. Being vigilant regarding personal hygiene also creates a buffer against an infestation in the event that you’re exposed to lice. The three tips below are crucial for stopping lice in their tracks.
Avoid Sharing Personal Items
Don’t get too cozy with clothes and accessories that belong to other people. As covered above, indirect transmission is both common and easy. Sharing isn’t caring when it comes to hats, scarves, brushes, bandanas, hair ties, bike helmets, and other items that can easily spread lice. In fact, learning not to share certain items is crucial for preventing head lice at school because kids commonly borrow clothing and accessories from friends without considering the fact that they could be sharing lice. There’s also a special tip for teachers and parents! Avoid piling headwear and clothing from different children in a classroom. Any scenario where items from different children are being lumped together creates an easy opportunity for a louse or nit to transfer to a new child! Assigned cubbies, lockers, and hooks are preferred!
Keep Your Hair Clean and Styled
While bathing habits don’t necessarily affect your chances of a lice infestation, keeping hair clean and styled is important for preventing head lice in adults. Adults are less likely to get lice simply because they don’t frequently play in close groups the way that small kids do. However, lice can still find their way to adult scalps. You’ll be much more likely to detect lice if you’re keeping on top of cleaning and styling your hair. The ugly truth about lice is that your ordinary comb or pick may actually be making the problem worse. Many people who have lived through lice infestations only trust the official Lice Lifters nit removal comb made of tempered steel with a unique spiral micro-grooving design for getting under every egg. Unlike other combs you can pick up at any store, this comb has long teeth that can be boiled for sterilization!
Use Lice-repellent Products
Professional lice-repellent products can give you peace of mind following the unsettling discovery that you’re infected with lice. The Internet is filled with recommendations for over-the-counter and DIY lice remedies. However, the truth is that most treatments offered for lice today are ineffective. The biggest reason why most lice treatments don’t work is that most lice outbreaks today involve “super lice” that have become resistant to common lice medications. Even mobile lice services that come to your home using treatments are ineffective against lice infestations. These treatments can provide a false sense of security before resulting in reinfection.
At Lice Lifters, we know that most lice treatments offered all across America don’t work. That’s why we encourage people to visit our lice clinics for an all-natural, safe lice treatment process. We start every appointment with an assessment that diagnoses a lice infestation before using treatments to eliminate both lice and nits. Lice Lifters is so confident in our lice-removal process that we offer a 30-day guarantee! You can even go home with official products from the Lice Lifters line of all-natural lice-killing shampoos, conditioners, and detanglers.
What can you do to prevent lice in your classroom?
Anything that prevents head-to-head contact can discourage a lice outbreak in your classroom! Teaching kids to avoid sharing anything that touches the head is important for establishing some best practices for lice prevention. This includes combs, brushes, hair accessories, hats, hoodies, helmets, scarves, and headphones. In addition, teachers should avoid stacking personal items belonging to different children.
Can you get lice even though you shower every day?
Yes, anyone can catch lice! Even the best personal hygiene in the world can’t provide a guarantee against lice. What’s more, showering isn’t enough to kill lice because lice are experts at holding their breath when wet. Only a professional lice removal salon can guarantee that lice are gone.
What are the most effective measures against head lice?
Prevention is the best defense against lice. That means avoiding any form of head-to-head contact. Never share any item that has contact with the head, ears, or neck. You can also follow these tips if you believe that you’ve been exposed to head lice:
- Never relax on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, stuffed animals, and other plush items that have recently been in contact with an infected person.
- Vacuum the floor and furniture in the areas visited by the infested person.
- Wash and dry clothing, linens, towels, and other items that an infested person used during the two days leading up to treatment using hot water and high-heat drying. Clothing and items that can’t be washed can be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks.
The one thing you should never do if you believe you have a lice infestation in a home or classroom is to use fumigation sprays and fogs. In addition to being unnecessary for controlling head lice, these options are also potentially toxic!
Lice Don’t Have to Be Part of Life in Your Home or Classroom in Lancaster, PA
Be proactive about head lice! Encourage your kids to avoid sharing things that have been either on or near another child’s head. If the horse is already out of the barn with head lice, the next best thing after prevention is a quick reaction. That’s why parents and teachers know to rush to Lice Lifters for professional lice removal in a salon setting. Our lice technicians use effective, safe, and all-natural products to kill lice. Unlike medications and DIY lice remedies that simply remove easily visible lice, our techniques loosen lice and nits from the root to ensure that nothing is left clinging to your hair shafts. Lice Lifters offers the best lice treatment in America! Book your appointment locally in Lancaster today!