A nightmare common among parents with school-age children is one your family can avoid.
A notice comes home from school about an outbreak of head lice. Head lice infestation is the most frequent health issue (after the common cold) facing children ages 3 to 11, with 12 million cases reported in the U.S. annually. A growing number of “lice clinics” have opened across the country, but with the right information and new innovations in treatment, parents can also address the problem at home.
Anna Warren, owner of the Asheville Lice Treatment Center in North Carolina, advises school nurses, teachers and parents on how to respond in the case of an outbreak. Warren says these five facts and tips can help you save time, worry and money, not to mention the misuse of potentially harmful pesticides.
• Today’s pesticide-based products have become largely ineffective. Lice have developed resistance to many of the over-the-counter treatments that have been around for years and in certain areas of the country, these “super lice” are the norm.
• If the treatment does not kill nits (eggs), it won’t work. The lice life cycle can be difficult to break because nits are hard to eradicate, often leading to prolonged infestations and a frustrating series of treatments with chemical products that can be harmful if overused.
• Recent breakthroughs in pesticide-free products kill lice and nits. New innovations in lice treatment options have led to effective, pesticide-free consumer products that can eradicate and prevent lice infestation, even among the pesticide-resistant super lice.
• A lice comb should be used to remove all lice and nits. A professional-grade steel lice comb should be used to ensure that hair is completely free of any lice and nits post treatment. In fact, a full comb-out performed weekly on your kids is a good habit to start.
• A preventative shampoo can break the life cycle. A shampoo that kills lice before they can lay eggs is critical for closing the “bridge” from one head to another.
Lice specialists now recommend parents seek effective, pesticide-free options. One such product, Vamousse, is made in the U.S. and considered 100 percent effective in killing lice and nits. Available at Walmart and Amazon.com, it also offers a preventative shampoo that can be used daily by the entire family and is safe for children as young as 2.
For more information, visit www.vamousselice.com.
North American Precis Syndicate