National Pediculosis Prevention Month might not ring a bell - but if we said Head Lice Prevention Month instead, your hairs might raise. Are we right? Either way, the month of September emphasizes the importance of head lice routine screening and early detection!
With the time of COVID-19 still lingering upon us, we’re sure you’ve already been having conversations with your children about how to protect themselves from germs, but has that conversation involved the spreading of lice, as well? Head lice is just as important as any other germ found in the classroom.
Contrary to popular belief, lice cannot jump or fly, but rather, move from place to place by crawling. Because of this, the most common way for head lice to spread is through human contact. Playing too rough on the playground? Check. Sharing hats? Check. Hoodies? Check.
Although it can be difficult to prevent the spread of head lice among school-aged children, ask your child to avoid head-to-head contact with classmates during play and not to share personal belongings. Be sure to also check for lice weekly and know the difference between lice and dandruff. Take the time to educate your children on the signs of infestation, too!
If children experience anything as follows, it’s vital they let you know in a timely manner.
- Intense itching on the scalp or body
- Tickling feeling from movement in the air
- Lice on scalp, body or clothing (like small, black sesame seeds)
- Lice eggs, or nits, around ears or nape of neck (small white or straw-colored dots stuck firmly on hair strands)
- Sores on the scalp, neck or shoulders
- Bite marks
If lice does develop, both over-the-counter and prescription medications are available for treatment of head lice infestations. Consult with your doctor on the best route to take for your child and their lifestyle. The CDC does not have clear scientific evidence to determine if suffocation of head lice with mayo, olive oil or butter is an effective form of treatment. Do not spread these on the scalp of your tiny human.
Yes, contracting lice can be overwhelming for both you and your child - but don’t let it panic your little ones if they do come into contact! Stay informed and implement the right preventative measures to get them through head lice season unscathed.