Head Lice! Just the mention of the words will leave you scratching your head and overwhelmed. Just knowing your child may have head lice can be alarming and send parents into a panic. Knowing how to tell if your child has lice can be tricky, especially if you have not ever seen head lice eggs or nits before. One of the biggest problems with head lice is the common myths. Head Lice can happen to anyone, regardless of social class or cleanliness. It is almost always passed via direct head-to-head contact, not from sharing hats or brushes, or going to the movies or on a plane. Young children are more susceptible, because they don’t have personal space needs like older children and adults do, and their heads are more likely to touch. What are the signs of head lice? Many people think that itching is the first sign of a head lice infestation, but actually, many people don’t itch for two or more weeks after they have contracted the first. In fact, by the time your child is itching, they most likely have already had lice for several days or weeks. Your best bet in identifying head lice in your child is to check their heads often, once a week is ideal. You are much more likely to find eggs or nits than you are a bug. Nits are dark brown in color when they are new and viable, and can turn clear or white when they are older and no longer viable. You should look for small, dark brown bubbles that are firmly attached to the hair shaft, less than half an inch from the scalp. If you see things that appear to be stuck to the hair shaft, but they are white and they will slide easily under your finger tips, this is NOT lice. A nit will feel like a hard speed bump under your fingers and will not slide down the hair shaft. Some children develop a rash at the base of their neck. Heartland Healthy Heads is always here to help. You can always delegate the checking to the experts at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center. Our professional head checks are incredibly thorough! If you would like peace of mind give us a call at 913-730-NITS (6487).
Know your school lice policy? When you get the head lice call from school, don’t be angry at your school or school nurse, be an advocate for your family! According to the National Association of School Nurses, children with head lice should not be barred from school, rather they should be “discouraged from close direct head contact with others.” The organization’s position statement, which was reiterated and revised in 2011, concludes: “The school nurse is in a position to take the lead in eliminating school exclusion policies and, instead, incorporate evidence-based practices that reduce the stigma associated with head lice, and work to increase classroom time with an emphasis on keeping students in school.” The American Academy of Pediatrics adopts a similar stance and recommends a prompt and safe treatment of head lice with as little interruption to a child’s daily routine as possible.
When head lice is going around, tell others quickly and talk about the best way to get everyone checked, treated and past head lice. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t get mad when other parents let you know head lice is going around. Yes, head lice can travel from head to head at school, but also moves around from head to head at outside school activities (slumber parties and sports activities or family gatherings).
Here at Heartland Healthy Heads, we hear the story all too often from frustrated parents who have tried numerous products, spent hours combing out nits and hundreds of dollars and tears wasted trying to get rid of head lice, only to blame the school for failed head lice treatments. The fact remains if head lice is not cleared from your social circles or if you do not get an effective treatment head lice will continue to linger around. The best way to stay lice free is to check often, treat early and tell others. Don’t waste time being angry at your school. Just take action: know the facts, get an effective treatment and tell all your close contacts. The stigma associated with head lice is powerful and can only be overcome by knowing the facts about head lice. Heartland Healthy Heads is a full service head lice treatment facility. We provide safe and non-toxic treatment options. In addition, we love to educate the community about head lice. If you need further information about head lice, call the experts at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center at 913-730-6487 or visit our website: www.liceclinicsheartland.com.
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Head lice prevention is helpful to keep lice away. Understanding how lice are transmitted is important if you want to try to avoid the little pests. Head lice are most commonly spread through direct head to head (hair to hair) contact and less commonly by sharing clothing, bedding or chairs. One thing that is hard for most to understand, is the risk of getting a head lice from a louse that had fallen onto the carpet or furniture is very low. Head lice do not survive for much more than a day if they are not on a human head. Also nits (eggs) cannot hatch and usually die if they are not kept at the same temperature as found near the scalp. According to the Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/lice/head/prevent.html) the following are steps that can be taken to help prevent and control the spread of head lice:
- Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp).
- Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes.
- Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
- Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.
- Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
- Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
- Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Heartland Healthy Heads strives educate the community about head lice prevention and safe treatment options. Please call our 24 hour Lice line at 913-730-6487 with any head lice questions regarding prevention or treatment.
Overwhelmed with lice, HELP! The kids are cranky, especially the teenager. She will not let anyone know she has lice. My 5 year old won’t let me even look at her hair more than 5 minutes, and my 3 year old son. Well, I have no idea how to tell if he really even has lice. The laundry is piling up and I have no one to even look at my hair and the babysitter is livid that she could have the little bugs on her head. My parents were here last weekend too and want to know what to do. My life is being consumed by these little pests and I cannot even see them. I only know they are there from my kids scratching and scratching. The internet is filled with conflicting information and a few friends told me just to use mayonnaise. And I also hear that the over the counter shampoo does not work. What do I do now? And who can HELP me?
At Heartland Healthy Heads this is an all too familiar story. We are here to offer HELP with any lice treatment. We are just a phone call away and will be able to assist you with whatever lice treatment you choose. Call us today so we can help you get through head lice and the chaos it bring to life. If you choose to treat yourself call us for HELP, we have the most up to date information regarding head lice and lice treatments. At Heartland Healthy Heads we are trained and certified in two treatment methods: Shepherd Method strand by strand lice removal technique and Licensees for Airalle’, the FDA cleared professional lice device. For more information: www.liceclinicsheartland.com or Call our 24 hour lice line with any questions: 913-730-6487. We can help!!
The AirAllé™ device concept originated in the laboratory of Dr. Dale Clayton at the University of Utah, where he is a professor in the Department of Biology.
Most research in Clayton’s lab concerns basic aspects of the biology of birds and their feather lice. During the 1980’s and early 1990’s Dr. Clayton successfully cultured lice on captive birds, such as common pigeons, for basic research purposes. However, when he moved his lab to the University of Utah in 1996, from Oxford University in England, he encountered great difficulty keeping lice alive on captive birds. Perplexed, he consulted colleagues working on other small insects, such as fruit flies. He was informed that, because of Utah’s arid climate, they too had difficulty keeping insect cultures alive. The large surface to volume ratio of these small insects apparently makes them vulnerable to desiccation in such an arid climate.
When Dr. Clayton’s own children contracted head lice that appeared to be resistant to chemical shampoos. Clayton’s experience with pigeon lice suggested it might be possible to control head lice by reducing the level of humidity near the scalp. A variety of methods were tested in Clayton’s lab, ranging from the use of chemical desiccants, to heat caps fitted with electrodes, to rice bag caps heated in a microwave, to various hair dryers and blowers up to the size of a leaf blower (don’t try this at home). These approaches were tested on student volunteers in the lab – including Clayton’s own children – many of whom were temporarily infested with small numbers of head lice.
Following months of tinkering, it looked likely that it might be possible to kill head lice and their eggs with a novel, custom- built device that combines fast-moving heated air, a precise angle of application, and the right duration of treatment. Working out the specifications required a good deal more experimentation over many more months using custom-engineered LouseBuster/Airalle’ prototypes. The culmination of this work was the publication in 2006 of a paper in the journal Pediatrics reporting data on the relative success of the different kinds of hair dryers, compared to the LouseBuster device, for killing head lice and their eggs.
Larada Sciences, Inc., which incorporated in 2006, formed to take the LouseBuster, now Airalle product to market.
A follow-up study was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology in 2011 that showed the LouseBuster was highly effective at killing lice and eggs, even in the hands of novices.
Head Lice can be overwhelming, so here are a few do’s and don’ts to help with head lice. Every parent gasps at the news of head lice and scrambles to prevent or eradicate the little pests from the family. Head lice is a common problem with an estimated 12 million cases each year in the United States (www.cdc.gov). There are various treatment options available. For the do it yourselfers there are various products including home remedies, over the counter products and prescription products. Professional lice services also exist and offer various treatments methods to put an end to lice.
|DO perform a comb through weekly. Make it a habit to check for lice weekly. If you check often you can treat early.||Don’t freak out if you child gets head lice! Having lice does not mean that your child or home is dirty.We don’t want children to feel that it is their fault or ashamed in any way.|
|DO treat the problem as soon as you are able. Each day that it is not treated leaves opportunity for lice to continue reproducing and spreading to others.||Don’t keep it a secret. Making others aware that lice lurking let them get check and treated so it moves out of your social circles faster. This lessens the chance of getting it again.|
|DO know that common over the counter products are no longer effective. If you choose to use them anyway follow the directions carefully and if they do not work the first time move on to another option.||Don’t overuse toxic products or pesticide products. The life cycle can be hard to break, leading parents to overuse pesticide products that may be harmful if overused.|
|DO consider using pesticide free products and understand the life cycle. Professional lice services can also get you past head lice quickly.||Don’t be embarrasses to ask for advice. IF you are not sure you have an effective treatment look to a professional head lice removal service or your health care provider.|
As a resource center, Heartland Healthy Heads is happy to answer any questions regarding head lice and head lice treatments. Call our 24 hour lice line with any questions 913-730-NITS (6487) or check out our web site www.liceclinicsheartland.com.
How do you get head lice?
Finding out your child has head lice can be alarming and leave you wondering–Where di d my child get head lice? Just know that head lice like to be on the human head, this is where the live and most importantly eat! The do not like to be on furniture, hats and brushes. If you find one there it is more than likely an accident.
Head lice are spread by direct contact with an infested person’s hair. It is most often spread by hair to hair contact. Kids, parents, family, friends and classmates who put their heads together may be spreading lice. Head lice are spread less commonly by indirect contact with inanimate objects, surfaces or personal items of those with head lice.
You probably cannot prevent your children from being social and not having head to head contact with others. Keeping the hair tied back is one easy method (ponytail, braids and buns). If you are worried about catching a bug from personal items of an infected person here are a few tips:
>Hats scarves, helmets and caps should not be shared.
>Make sure everyone uses their own personal brush or comb.
>Do not share hair ties, barrettes or scrunchies.
If playing a sport make sure to have your own gear.
Talk with your kids so they know how lice are spread. Most importantly tell them to be nice about lice. Anyone can get head lice and not know where it came from. If they know of a child who has lice tell them to be kind and let you know. If your child has been exposed check for signs of head lice often and treat early. Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center offers a 24 hour lice line to answer any head lice questions: 913-730-NITS (6487).
Lice treatment, now what?? We know the stress of having head lice and the frustration of using ineffective treatments.Finding a bug on your child’s head is no fun and quite alarming to those dealing with head lice for the first time. Panic is usually the initial reaction followed by parents reaching for ineffective treatments.It is important to take a deep breath and know that head lice are harmless and manageable. But also multiply rapidly and can be spread to close contacts easily. No matter the treatment you choose the key to head lice treatment is patience, diligence and a lot of time. Removing all the nits is the key to a successful treatment. If you are lacking time and the patience to nitpick, call Heartland Healthy Heads at 913-730-NITS(6487). Heartland Healthy Heads offers the safest most effective lice treatment options and we are here to help you and your family get past head lice. We can give you tips and recommendations for safe treatment options if you to treat at home. As Airalle’(www.airalle.com) providers with Shepherd Method strand by strand certification we offer the safest, fastest and most effective lice treatments available with a 30 day guarantee. If you find a bug and are not sure what to do, call us first we will get you headed in the right direction to be lice free.
Did you know there are Head Lice Experts all around the world? Heartland Healthy Heads strives to provide the most up to date information regarding head lice along with providing the best quality lice treatment. This means attending the International Conference on Phthiraptera (ICP5). What is that? The name Phthiraptera is derived from the greek “phthir” meaning lice and “aptera” meaning wingless. Yes, this means we will be attending the International Head Lice conference this month.
The International Society of Phthirapterists will be holding the 5th International Conference on Phthiraptera August 2-7th, 2014 and this year it happens to be in the United States (www.conferences.utah.edu/icp5/plenary.html). The meeting will convene in Park City, Utah and showcase the latest research on lice. It is expected approximately 200 attendees from countries around the world and about half will be people that work on various aspects of the biology and control of head lice and other human lice. The group will range from Ph.D. researchers working on new control methods to M.D.s, nurses and other lice professionals.
We are looking forward to meeting lice experts like Dr. Barbara Frankowski, MD, MPH, FAAP who is the lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics clinical Guideline on Head Lice. She will be presenting on Head Lice and meeting the needs of pediatricians, patients, parents and “Nit-Picky” schools. All experts will be on site including Katie Shepherd, founder of the Shepherd Institute (www.shepherdinstitute.com) and author of Lice Advice. Another one of our affiliates, Dale Clayton, University of Utah Professor who is responsible for developing the Airalle’ device (www.airalle.com) device will be presenting and hosting this event. Heartland Healthy Heads knows head lice and actively seeks the most current research and safe treatment options. Call us today with any questions 913-730-NITS (6487).
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