When a case of head lice hits your home a million questions can run through your mind! How common is head lice? Is it dangerous? Should I take my child to a doctor? How did they catch it? Here is the low down on a few quick things every parent in your situation should understand:
-Rest assured, head lice is extremely common. There is no way to know the exact number for sure, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 12 million children between the ages of 3-11 in the United States will contract head lice every year. That number is on the rise in recent years as “super lice” have taken the industry by surprise.
-Head lice are showing up in more and more Jr. High Schools and High Schools across the country as super lice are creating a more rampant problem. Some experts also believe that selfies, personal technology being shared and other current trends could be to blame for a higher rate of teenagers showing symptoms of head lice.
-Head lice are one of the top three reasons children reportedly miss school. This is a problem because often school districts no-nit policy will prevent a child from returning to school or school activities for days or weeks at a time. Check with your local school nurse to find out what policies your school implements.
-Head lice are not dangerous. They are not considered a health risk but are considered an extreme annoyance. Although you will definitely want to eliminate the problem as quickly as possible, it is not posing a dangerous health factor.
-Head lice may not be dangerous, but they are extremely contagious. Head lice are most commonly spread through direct head to head contact. This includes contact with anything that is worn on the head or comes in contact with the head, such as helmets, hats, hoodies, earphones, hair brushes, etc.
-No matter what you may have heard in the past, head lice are not a sign of personal cleanliness. Head lice thrive in clean hair or dirty hair.
-Pets pose no risk for the transfer of head lice. In fact, human head lice can only survive on a human host. If they have lost access to a human host they will die within 48 hours.
-Direct head to head contact is most common among people living in the same household. For this reason, always have every member of your family living in the same home checked and treated for head lice. Otherwise, you may have a recurring problem on your hands.
-The most common times we see head lice outbreaks are at summer camps, spring break, winter break and back to school. These are times when many children spend time in close proximity to one another. Although head lice are often transferred during sports seasons, slumber parties, at daycares or any other time children spend a lot of time together.
Lice Clinics of America Ft. Wayne is positive that we can help alleviate your concerns, answer your questions, and help you quickly solve your head lice dilemma. Call our office today to talk about treatment options that will suit your family’s needs.