Head lice are a topic that may come to your attention every now and then as a parent. These tiny, wingless, parasitic insects love the warm, moist environment under your hair. Since they feed off blood underneath the scalp, they’re typically found within a quarter inch of the scalp. Though not dangerous, these pests are annoying because you or your children may be allergic to their saliva, and this can cause redness, irritation and itching. This itching can cause your infested loved one to scratch it, which can result in open sores.
A lice infestation can only spread from one person to another if a fertile female louse gets passed between them. Since a louse can’t fly or jump, the main way this happens is through head-to-head or even just hair-to-hair contact. This can occur when hugging, snuggling, huddling during a game or when pressing heads together to take a selfie. The wearing of clothing that’s put on or near the head, such as hats, helmets and scarves, can also spread lice, but this is far less common.
Because children are known to frequently come into contact while playing with friends, they are particularly prone to spread lice between each other. As a parent, you want to tell your kids to avoid direct contact between their hair and that of another child. Also, be sure you provide any of your kids active in sports with their own uniforms, hats and helmets, so they don’t have to share with others. Any daughters you have need to be told not to use another child’s hair ties, pins, scrunchies or barrettes, but if they do have long hair, you should make sure they tie it back with similar items of their own.
Finding Out About Lice and How to Handle It
Typically, one way you’ll find out your child has lice is by a call from a school nurse. If you wish to be proactive, you can search for them on your own, but lice are hard to spot. They come in the three growth stages of nits, nymphs and then the fully grown louse. A nymph, being a juvenile form of louse is very hard to spot, and the nits, or eggs, are very tiny and can be mistaken for dandruff.
If you are told or suspect any of your kids have head lice, don’t try handling it on your own. There are professional lice salons that are in the business of quickly, safely and affordably eliminating nits, nymphs and lice with all-natural products that are non-toxic. If you are in Maryland, you should contact Head Lice 911. Our convenient lice salon has locations in Bethesda and Crofton. We have 5-star ratings on Yelp and Google Reviews from happy parents like yourself because we guarantee to get their loved ones head lice free after a single visit.