With children returning to school and spending time with more children, it’s time to worry a bit more about the threat of lice.
We all want to avoid those tiny parasites that live in hair and literally suck your blood. September is Head Lice Prevention Month.
The best way to prevent an infestation in your children is to caution them against sharing things like hats, combs, scarves and other items that have recently been worn by others or used in their hair.
If you are concerned, talk to your child’s school or teacher about school and class policies on shared clothing, especially as the weather gets colder and winter hats come out.
Itching is the prime symptom you think of in a lice infestation, but it may take four to six weeks for itching to start the first time someone gets lice, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and some people don’t have itching, particularly on their first infestation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
If your child complains about things moving around on or tickling their head, it’s a good idea to check. Check for lice behind the ears and on the back of the neck, the most common place to find them, according to the Mayo Clinic, and look for eggs at the on hair shafts near the scalp. They may look like dandruff, but they won’t brush off as easily, according to KidsHealth.org.
If you are unlucky enough to have a head lice infestation walk through your door, there are ways to get rid of it, but be sure to follow directions exactly, because the medications are insecticides, according to KidsHealth.org. There are over-the-counter options and your doctor can also prescribe something stronger.
While you must eliminate the lice from the infected individual, it’s important to eliminate the infestation completely, which means some intensive cleaning. KidsHealth.org has a great article on how to combat the infestation.