Protect your child from lice

How People Get Lice

  • Most common age of kids who get lice is 3-12 years old, as they tend to share everything!

  • Kids mainly get lice through head-to-head contact, but they can also spread through sharing clothing, bed linens, combs, brushes, and hats.

  • Lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly from child to child. Activities include schools, child-care centers, slumber parties, sports activities, camps, theater seats and even playgrounds.

  • Pets can't catch head lice and pass them on to people or the other way around.

    Detecting Lice

  • The best way to detect lice is a really itchy head! If a child is constantly scratching their head that is a telltale sign of head lice.

  • If a child has an itchy head, you need to look carefully at the child¹s hair and scalp for the adult lice and for nits (lice eggs), which are small, white glue balls clinging to the hair shaft, mostly near the scalp.

    Getting Rid of Lice

  • Choose a medicated lice treatment from the pharmacy and follow the instructions carefully.

  • Buy and use a special fine-toothed lice comb on your child's hair after regular shampooing every day for up to 2 weeks. Pick out the adult lice and nits by hand (the comb is not sufficient).

  • Clean EVERYTHING - daily for up to two weeks until the lice are gone Wash all bed linens and clothing that's been recently worn by anyone in your home.

  • Put any bed linens, clothing, and stuffed animals that can't be washed in airtight bags for 2 weeks (suffocates the lice).

  • Vacuum carpets and any upholstered furniture (in your home or car). Hair-care items should be soaked in rubbing alcohol, though it may be better to just throw them all away.

  • Be aware that if you don¹t do these steps repeatedly for two weeks you can get a reinfestation and will have to start all over again!

    Info & Advice

  • Lice is an epidemic in many urban areas in the US, and resistance to medications are emerging.

  • The second greatest worry medically (behind the increasing autism rates) on the front lines is increasing and resistant staph germs . Kids with lice do a lot of scratching, can potentially get infected with staph due to the increasing colonization rates and could become a huge secondary infection problem related to lice.

  • Tell your friends you have or had Lice. The direct approach is best - tell them the truth! Directly telling them eliminates the whispers and encourages questions .

  • Lice is full of social stigmas. Families feel dirty and embarrassed so they don¹t tell the school, their exposed friends, neighbors, etc and the disease spreads quickly. We need to break down those barriers.

  • School and community -wide programs are needed to help stop the spread.

  • There are some gee whiz things like lice potentially being used as DNA evidence in criminal trials as when they have a blood meal from you there is enough DNA to test, etc., some African cultures use monkeys for nitpicking, etc.

  • Acknowledge that there are some BAD things about having lice, like smelly hair treatments and possible haircuts. Plus, nitpicking for hours!! Every strand of hair is examined and nits (lice eggs) and lice have to be removed. You lose your stuffed animals (they are bagged) for two weeks (suffocates the lice)

  • Emphasize that there are some GOOD things about having lice Spend A LOT of time with my mom, baking goodies, watching movies, reading books

    About Natalie Lillie:
    She is 11 years old and lives in Los Altos, California with her mom, dad, and her three brothers, Nick, Jake and Josh. She wrote this book when she was 9 years old and a 3rd grade student at Oak Elementary School. Her Godmother, Sister Mary Ondreyco, suggested writing this story after reading about it in her journal. Natalie loves to read and enjoys going to school. She loves sports, and competes in soccer, basketball, and swimming. She also loves music and plays the clarinet in her school band. She enjoys spending time with her friends and her family, going to the beach, and she loves animals, especially horses and dogs.
    >> About the book: Natalie's Lice Aren't Nice!: There are Good Things about Having Lice and Bad Things about Having Lice

    Dr. Michael Moore (Dr. Mike) is a Pediatrician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation Group , practicing in San Jose.
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