School is back in session, which means germs, germs, and more germs! We know you’ve been having conversations with your children about how to protect themselves from germs and bacteria that could lead to infection (and more importantly, missed school days) – but what’s about head lice? Head lice is just as important as other harmful germs that can be found in the classroom because as you know, once one kid in class gets the bug, all of the others are at risk.
Head lice is a parasite that lives on the scalp, feeds on blood, and causes itchiness and discomfort to their host. Surprisingly, lice cannot hop, jump or fly, so they move from place to place is by crawling. Because of this, the most common way for head lice to spread is through direct human contact.
The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) is the only non-profit health and education agency that is dedicated to protecting children from lice and scabies. Their mission is to keep children in school and lice free. They stress that parents should not simply rely on school policy, FDA regulation, or other marketing information when it comes to preventing lice. There are many ways parents can take the initiative to ensure that lice doesn’t spread. For example, combing tools and shampoo products have advanced in recent years to help identify and end infestation.
Here are 6 ways to prevent lice infestation:
Watch for signs of lice, like head scratching
Check for lice weekly
Know the difference between lice and dandruff
Be careful of head-to-head contact, such as sharing hats and brushes
Wash bedding and worn closing routinely
Avoid lice sprays, vacuuming is the most effective way to remove lice from furniture
There is often a stigma about cleanliness that is associated with lice, so the NPA strongly suggests to get children involved with the conversation about lice. Watch for signs of lice and encourage your children to let you know if they experience any itchiness or symptoms. It is important that they understand any and everyone is as risk of contracting lice, so it is not their fault if they get it.
Lice can be overwhelming, but don’t let it panic you or your little ones. Stay informed and implement the right preventative treatments to get through head lice season unscathed. If you think your little one may have lice, bring them into the Your Kid’s Urgent Care location nearest you.
For more information on head lice, visit: www.headlice.org