getting lice at school

Back to School – How to Make Sure Lice Doesn’t Come Home with Your Child

The clinic is busy this time of year!

We become the most popular place you don’t really want to go.

We are, of course, talking about lice. The kids are heading back to school and head lice cases are common especially with school age children.

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Head lice are nothing to panic about and you don’t need to let the possibility of an infestation ruin how cute all the kids are with their new clothes and backpacks. Making new friends and seeing classmates from last year is far more important than trying to make absolutely certain that your child does not get lice.

However, there are a few things you can keep in mind at the beginning of the school year. Prevention of head lice is not foolproof, but there are a few things you can do without needing to be paranoid. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a plan filed away just in case your child ends up with a case.

Have a Plan

The plan can be simple. In fact, there is no need for anything complicated, but just having a plan can make dealing with lice better for you and others at your school.

Step 1) The first step is always to remember not to panic! Head lice are a nuisance (although there is a quick and effective way to deal with them now), but they don’t cause disease and are nothing to be ashamed of.

The CDC reminds us that head lice are spread mostly through head to head contact so, “Getting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his or her environment.” If your child gets head lice it does not reflect on your parenting. AND if someone else’s child has head lice, it does not reflect poorly on their parents or environment.

Step 2) Find out what your school’s policy is for dealing with head lice. Just keep the plan on file so that you have it if you need it.

Step 3) Know which personnel to inform at your child’s school in the event of an infestation. The faster the school is informed the better the case can be contained so have the email addresses or phone numbers ready to go.

Step 4) Explain to your child how lice spread. There is a good chance that your child will act like a kid and not think about lice while they are playing at recess, but this step will help you feel better! And really, while it is good for children to know not to share hair accessories or hats, I know I would rather just let my child act like a kid.

Lice Prevention

It is possible to totally prevent head lice…but it involves shaving off all the hair on your child’s head, including their eyebrows!

A total head shave is too extreme for most parents, but there are a few other things you can do. Keeping long hair pulled back goes a long way for prevention. Head lice need to stay on human hair close to the scalp to survive. They cannot fly or jump, but they do crawl.

Almost always, head lice are spread when the hair of an infested person comes into contact with the hair of someone else. Yes, it is possible to get lice in a few other ways (hats, combs, etc.), but it is almost always direct hair to hair contact. So making hair to hair contact less likely is a great form of prevention.

In addition to keeping hair short or pulled back, there are a few products that aid in prevention. The Lice Clinics of America sell a shampoo, conditioner, and spray that use essential oils that lice don’t like. These products make it less likely for lice to move to your child’s hair. They do not treat an active infestation.

Lice Treatment Plan

The last step in getting ready for school and dealing with lice is to have a treatment plan for what you will do if your child gets lice. You can try treating the lice at home with over the counter products or natural at home remedies. However, the Lice Clinics of America has a quick, effective, and safe treatment system.

Find the nearest clinic and save the phone number in your phone so you are ready in case you need treatment. The treatment takes 90 minutes or less and kills live lice AND eggs without the use of any harmful chemicals. There is no need to stumble through home treatments that may or may not work when you can have a professional get it done with guaranteed results.

Make your plan, consider prevention, and save the number of your nearest Lice Clinics of America treatment center. Then enjoy your children at this adorable age heading back to school one year older!

essential oil for head lice treatment

Essential Oils For Lice – Does It Really Work?

Safety first.

Especially when considering children, safety first is a huge consideration.

Back in the 50’s trucks would drive through residential streets spraying clouds of DDT to kill mosquitoes and other bugs. Kids would have a great time running through the cloud of pesticide behind the truck. Today, thankfully, the dangers of pesticides are better understood and we try to avoid exposure.

Because of exposure to harmful pesticides, natural remedies to lice infestations are in demand and understandably so. Essential oils are increasingly popular with people claiming all manner of benefits and uses for them.

The question is, does treatment with essential oils eradicate a lice infestation?

A quick search online will show that many people believe essential oils are an effective treatment. There has been so much interest that there is a growing number of scientific studies examining the effectiveness of a few of these oils.

The Studies

With the rise in popularity of essential oils, more studies are being conducted to test their effectiveness. The results are promising. In 2002 a study showed that a blend of oils was as effective as the common pesticide used for treatment.

More recently, in 2016 and 2017 studies have shown more support for the effectiveness of essential oils for the treatment of head lice. Some of these studies examine the toxicity of the oil on lice and eggs in a lab dish. While others were conducted on children with lice.

In the careful lab environment the studied oils showed promising results. So if your child has lice should you grab a bottle of essential oil and begin application? Before looking at recommendations, let’s review the nature of a head lice infestation.

Head Lice Infestation

Head lice are adapted to survive on the human head. These tiny bugs cling tightly to the hair close to the scalp. This position keeps them close to the scalp for warmth and easy access to blood meals (both of which are necessary for survival). Eggs (called nits) are attached to the hair near the scalp with a glue-like substance.

To eradicate an active infestation, the adult lice must be killed or removed along with the nits. If only the adult lice are taken care of, a new crop of lice will show up once the nits hatch.

The trouble with traditional pesticide shampoos (aside from pesticide resistant lice) has been that the nits were still viable after treatment and needed to be combed out every few days as they hatched.

So what’s the point?

The point is that an effective treatment must be paired together with proper application.

Application

Essential oils certainly show promise in being another tool in the toolbox to fight lice infestations. The issues at present revolve around what oil is being used, proper dilution of the oil, proper application of the oil, proper follow-up with a lice comb, and potentially retreatment – the studies typically followed a protocol of 2-3 treatments with approximately a week in-between treatments. DIY Lice treatment

More work is certainly being done to find effective combinations of oils and proper dilution to kill the lice and nits without irritating skin. However, even when the best practices are agreed upon, the treatment application must be done properly. Can the treatment be done properly at home? Absolutely. Can it also be improperly done? Again, absolutely.  

The Use of Essential Oils

Essential oils rightfully have a place in dealing with lice. At the Lice Clinics of America, we have preventative shampoo, conditioner, and spray made with essential oil. When children are in situations where the risk of lice infestations are high, these products can be incredibly helpful at keeping the unwelcome bugs away.

Treatment

Ultimately, the decision to use essential oils for treatment is up to you. You may find great success and the risk of side effects is minimal. However, be prepared to keep a close eye on your child’s head for the next couple of weeks to be sure the treatment was effective.

One the other hand, if you want your lice problem eradicated in one treatment – a treatment free of any pesticides or chemicals – schedule a time with your nearest Lice Clinics of America. The treatment is quick, painless, safe, performed by a professional, and guaranteed. Truly a worry-free lice treatment option.    

talking about lice with kid

How to Have a Shame-Free Conversation With Your Kids About Lice

It doesn’t have to be a big deal.

There is no need to make lice a big deal. Your child shouldn’t feel that they did anything wrong and neither should you.

Lice don’t cause disease and there are now easy and effective treatments to get rid of both the lice and eggs (nits).

All too often the child with lice, and their parents, feel shame for having lice. There has been an association between lice and poor hygiene or a dirty home environment. However, lice live just as well on a clean head with a clean pillow as they do on a dirty head with a dirty pillow. The lice simply need access to the scalp for blood meals and body heat. Cleanliness has nothing to do with it.

Head lice are spread by head to head contact. Yes, it is possible to get lice from sharing a hat or brush, but lice cannot live for long off of a human head so they do not move off of someone’s head on purpose. In the end, your children do not need to be thinking about lice everyday. Getting haircuts or styling hair in ways that makes it less likely for their hair to come in contact with their friend’s hair (short hair or hair pulled back) could be helpful in some situations, but why let lice control your actions in that way?

It is important for children to be able to play and be carefree. They may pick up lice at some point and they may not. If they do end up with lice, the Lice Clinics of America are here to support you with information and treatments.  

You Didn’t Do Anything Wrong

As a parent, you may need this reminder as much as your child does. You didn’t do anything wrong. If another parent talks to you about a case of lice, remember that lice do not need to be a big deal and you do not need have a shocked reaction to show that you are a good and caring parent. If your child or one of their classmates gets lice, shrug it off as just something that happens, like catching a cold.  

Unfortunately, shrugging it off as just something that happens may not be the message your child has already received at school or day care. School officials and other children may have reacted with fear or alarm that could be interpreted as blame or judgment.

Tell your child that getting head lice is like catching a cold. You get it from someone else, who got it from someone before that. No one did anything wrong!

Instead of wondering who to blame when there is a case of lice, parents can begin to foster a supportive community offering advice for treatment. Open communication about lice is one of the best ways to keep it from spreading. It is easier to deal with lice on one head than it is to deal with a whole classroom full of infested heads.

You can also tell your child that head lice aren’t dangerous and that, like a cold, they will go away with appropriate treatment. No big deal.

Lice Treatment Options

Perhaps the major reason that lice have such a weight associated with them is that historically they have been difficult to remove. Aside from shaving your head, there were not great treatment options. Because of this sense of powerlessness, lice were viewed as a serious issue that needed to be dealt with drastically. Today, however, lice are better understood and there are many treatment options available.

With 6-12 million cases of head lice in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no reason to feel a stigma because your child picked up lice.  Fortunately, Lice are getting easier to treat with the advent of the AirAllé medical device. Offered by Lice Clinics of America, AirAllé is an FDA-cleared medical device that kills live lice and eggs in a single treatment that takes about 90 minutes. Knowing that there is a safe, fast, and effective solution available can go a long way to reducing fear and stress. Find the clinic nearest you and schedule an appointment.

summer camp lice worries

Summer Camp – A Breeding Ground for Lice Outbreaks

It’s been a long school year.

It is feeling harder and harder to get the lunches packed for school and to get out the door on time.

The line of cars in front of the school seems longer as the bell rings and you hope your children made it to their classrooms without being tardy.

But now it is summer and a new routine needs to be established. The kids are not going to play nicely all day long without some structure. Maybe summer is vacation for the kids, but it can feel like a lot of work for parents!

Enter summer camp.

Something designed especially for the kids that they will love. They will develop some independence, make new friends, and have experiences they would never have had at home.

Summer Camp Worries

Sending your kids off to summer camp can bring up a lot of worries. Will they be safe? Will they be lonely? Will they find some way to only eat candy? And don’t forget about lice.

Head lice spread at schools, but the summer camp set-up with kids in close proximity to each other and bunk beds packed into a room creates a special opportunity for head lice. If one camper arrives with head lice the conditions are perfect for those little creatures to spread like a cafeteria food fight.

However, don’t let worries about lice keep you from sending your children off for a great experience at summer camp. Instead, keep a few things in mind that can help ward off lice altogether or make the treatment quick and painless if an infestation occurs.

What to Know

There are a few things to keep in mind when dealing, or potentially dealing, with lice. These few steps will help keep your mind at ease and give you a plan in case you do need to deal with some head lice.

  1. First and foremost, remember that head lice do not cause disease. Yes, they are itchy and bothersome, but your worries can stop there. In addition, lice infestations are not related to how sanitary a person is or is not so an infestation of head lice is not a poor reflection on you as a parent!
  2. Contact the summer camp and find out what their policy is regarding head lice. There should be some sort of a protocol in place to provide structure if or when an infestation is detected. If the camp does not have a head lice policy in place you may refer them to the American Camp Association website that gives tips for a camp when dealing with lice.
  3. Before your children leave for camp, talk to them about lice and how they spread. Use our website or the CDC as a resource especially their advice on prevention. There are a number of ways that head lice can spread, however, in the vast majority of cases, head lice are spread through direct head to head contact with an infested person. It is possible to get lice from sharing a towel, pillow, hat, brush, etc. and your child should be know to avoid those things, but head lice cannot survive for long off of a human head so they tend to cling onto human hair.
  4. If your summer camp does not contract with the Lice Clinics of America, consider purchasing the preventative products that make lice less likely to take up residence in your child’s hair.
  5. Finally, have your own plan in place. Check your children before they leave for camp to be sure that they do not bring lice to the camp. When your children arrive home use a lice comb and screen them before they settle back in. In addition, running their camp clothes and bedding through the laundry on high heat will take care of anything that may have fallen off of their head or come from the friendly camper who slept one bunk over.

Treatment

In the event that your child or children do end up with lice, there is no need to panic. Even though lice shampoos are becoming less and less effective as lice adapt to deal with the pesticides being used, there is a safe and easy treatment available.

Historically, the trouble has been getting rid of both the hatched lice and the nits (eggs). Many of the treatment options leave the nits viable and once they hatch there is a new infestation. Additionally, the risks associated with pesticide exposure are becoming more clear. The treatment available at the Lice Clinics of America kills both the nits and the hatched lice without the use of any chemicals. The procedure only takes about 90 minutes depending on the infestation and the length of hair, so you can be on your way and back to normal life before you know it.      airalle treatments in clinic

Before you send your children off to summer camp this year, make a note of where the nearest Lice Clinics of America center is to incorporate into your lice treatment plan. Having a simple plan in place will go a long way toward taking away at least one of your summer camp worries!

doctor testing lice treatment options

American Academy of Pediatricians Updates Head Lice Guidance

Have you ever wondered what to do about head lice?

Have you ever wanted to see the treatment options addressed all in one place with the pros and cons?

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) put together an article in 2015 updating the information that had previously been available in a 2010 report. This new report “clarifies current diagnosis and treatment protocols and provides guidance for the management of children with head lice in the school setting.”

There are always new products and procedures being developed. For a parent, it can be overwhelming to do a Google search and see so many options. This AAP article is a great overview of general treatment styles as well as some specifics. Included in this report is the treatment provided at the Lice Clinics of America.

Over the course of the last few years there has been a huge increase in lice that are resistant to some of the most common forms of treatment. It used to be that a child would be diagnosed with lice at school or home and a treatment with over the counter lice shampoo was an effective treatment. Yes, it still needed to be combined with careful combing with a lice comb to remove any young lice after they hatch, but it was a good start.

However, the number of resistant lice has skyrocketed so that most of the common over the counter pesticide shampoos are not as effective as they used to be. The title on this article, “Vast Majority of States Overrun by Treatment Resistant Head Lice” may be sensational, but the article makes the point that lice shampoos simply aren’t as effective as they used to be.

What should you expect from a treatment for head lice? Is the only consideration cost, or should effectiveness be the primary consideration? What about safety? In the same 2015 report, the AAP lists their considerations for the treatment of head lice like this, “Optimal treatments should be safe, should rapidly rid the individual of live lice, viable eggs, and residual nits, and should be easy to use and affordable. Additionally, because lice infestation is benign, treatments should not be associated with adverse effects and should be reserved for patients on whom living lice are found.”

With these considerations in view, it is exciting to see something new that made the list of approved treatments.

A New Safe and Effective Device For Treatment

As part of the update, the AAP listed the AirAllé® medical device as an effective lice treatment device. “The AirAllé® (Larada Sciences, Salt Lake City, UT) device is a custom-built machine that uses one 30-minute application of hot air in an attempt to desiccate the lice. One study showed that subjects had nearly 100% mortality of eggs and 80% mortality of hatched lice.”

Lice Clinic Interior

Clinic Interior

The AirAllé® device is the only treatment option listed in the AAP report that uses heated air. A clinical trial showed that the FDA-cleared medical device killed live lice and 99.2 percent of eggs. It uses nothing but heated air, carefully controlled and applied, to dehydrate lice and eggs. There are no chemicals involved and no nitpicking is required.

Lice treatment using the AirAllé® medical device is available exclusively at Lice Clinics of America treatment centers, where certified staff use the device to remove live lice and eggs. The process takes from 30-90 minutes, depending on the extent of the infestation and the length of the hair. Most clinics guarantee success as long as all household members are checked for head lice prior to treatment.

If you want to read what the AAP report has to say, click here for the article and under the section titled “Treatment” scroll until you find the subsection titled “Desiccation.”

What To Do

Lice Clinics of America has quickly become the largest network of professional lice treatment centers in the world. Some 150 clinics have opened in the United States to date with approximately 100 clinics in 20 additional countries.

Find the nearest clinic to keep on file in case you or a friend need it or call and schedule your appointment today if you are dealing with an infestation. You just can’t beat a fast, safe, and effective treatment!

 

4 Reasons You Still Have Head Lice Even After Treatment

How is it possible?

So much time, energy, and worry went into researching what to do and treating the case of lice. How is it possible that they aren’t gone?!

The articles online were so convincing and sure of themselves. How could lice survive a heavy treatment of pesticide shampoo? Or, how could lice survive a home treatment with something designed to smother them all night? Are these tiny bugs robots that are unaffected by any attempt to kill them?!


According to the
CDC there are 6-12 million cases of lice each year…and that is just counting children. It is not uncommon to have a terrible time getting rid of these little creatures. If the infestation is not dealt with completely, it may be months of ongoing trouble to finally finish them off. Nobody wants that!

Let’s cover four common issues that people run into that keep their heads itching far longer than they need to. And don’t worry, at the end there is a solution to all of your problems…at least your lice problems 😉

  1. Over-the-counter treatments may not work. The resistance of head lice to the most popular drugstore products is well-researched and well-documented. The most recent report, issued in 2016, found that most lice in 42 states are now resistant to pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are the active ingredient in most over-the-counter lice products.
  2. Nitpicking is subject to human error. The most effective alternative to drugstore lice products has traditionally been nitpicking. This is the process of combing out live lice with a special lice comb, then playing a daunting cat-and-mouse game with the lice eggs (nits). They are tiny—about the size of sesame seed—and they attach themselves with the insect equivalent of superglue to hair shafts. The problem is, that if you miss a few, they will hatch, then live lice can multiply again, and you’ll have a fresh infestation.
  3. Failing to get every member of the household checked. Too often, parents assume that the child that was found to have lice at school or daycare is the only one with lice. Because lice spread primarily from close head-to-head contact or from shared hair accessories like brushes, it’s common for the family members to share. Sharing is what we teach our kids to do! If only one person in the family is checked and treated, the lice may show up on someone else’s head before too long. Don’t feel paranoid or panicked, just make sure that everyone is carefully checked.
  4. Home remedies are unproven at best, dangerous at worst. Maybe they will work and maybe they won’t. Feel free to give them a try if you want, just be sure to keep a close eye on the infested scalp and the others in your household. You can search the Internet for lice solutions and find bloggers and others that swear by home treatments like mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, olive oil, and even kerosene (I know!). The methods vary, but in general, this involves covering a child’s head with one of these substances overnight.

For the most part, these home remedies are harmless (excluding the kerosene). They        are typically an effort to avoid exposure to pesticides, which is a reasonable thing to do. The trouble is just that the treatment may or may not work. You may have to cycle through a few protocols to find one that works. Thankfully, there is a better option.

No Pesticide AND No Lice

The ideal treatment is something that kills the lice and nits at the same time without the use of chemicals harmful to people or the environment. There is now an FDA approved device called the AirAllé® medical device that kills lice and nits without the use of chemicals.

head lice treatment clinicians

Head lice treatments in process

This device is available only through the Lice Clinics of America. There are an ever increasing number of clinics available so find your nearest location. At the Lice Clinics of America, you can be treated in 30-90 minutes, depending on your hair length, and know that clinical tests have shown the effectiveness of this method. Make a note of your nearest clinic for future reference or make an appointment today if you are dealing with an infestation. Lice do not have to be a persistent problem lasting weeks or months!

lice clinic car temecula

Catch this Bug for a Discount!

Have you caught our bug cruising the streets of the Temecula area?  If ours isn’t the only bug you’ve caught, grab your phone and take a photo when you see us and get instant savings!

We’ll take $5 off each treatment when you share a photo of our bug to our facebook page.  If you don’t have Facebook, just show us the photo when you come into our clinic.  

Catch our bug and we’ll get rid of yours, hassle-free, with savings today.  Call for your appointment now.

 

talking about lice

Talking about Lice with Other Parents – Breaking the Stigma

Question. Do lice spontaneously form out of thin air on the scalps of children all across the world?

I think we all know that the answer is “no.”

Sharing

Lice are spread almost only through head to head contact with someone who has an active case of lice. An active case of lice means that there are crawling bugs in the hair whether they are young lice (nymphs) or adult (lice).

Yes, it is possible to get lice through sharing a comb, hat, pillow or anything else that has contacted the head of an infested person, but it doesn’t happen very much. Lice need to stay close to their source of food and warmth (the scalp) so they don’t migrate away from it on purpose.

What does all of this talk about how lice are spread have to do with “other parents?” Well, it means that if your child has lice, it is a tremendous service to other parents if you let them know. Just like it is helpful if someone else’s child gets lice and they let you and the rest of the class know.

No one gets lice just by being in the same room as someone with lice. No one gets lice from shaking the hand of an infested person. Once again, lice are almost exclusively spread by head to head contact. It is entirely possible to prevent head to head contact when there is a known case of lice.

The crawling lice can be brushed out with a specially made lice comb and then precautions can be taken to avoid their hair coming in contact with someone else’s hair. Perhaps the child dealing with lice wears a hat. Or, for a child with longer hair, their hair can be pulled up with some kind of a hat over the top.

The eggs of lice will generally not spread from one person to another. When lice lay eggs, the eggs (nits) are attached to a shaft of hair with a glue-like substance ensuring that the nit will stay in place. Until that nit hatches it isn’t going anywhere. So if steps are taken to pull out any crawling lice present in the hair, there is no real risk of spreading lice. This is why the CDC does not support schools from keeping children at home with just the presence of nits and no crawling lice.

Dealing With Embarrassment

hang head in shameOne hurdle to get over when it comes to telling other parents that your child has lice is embarrassment. Some people associate lice with poor hygiene or unsanitary home conditions. No one wants to invite the judgment of others so it may feel easier to just try to hide a lice infestation. However, poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions have nothing to do with lice.

Lice need access to blood meals along with the warmth coming from the scalp to survive. The cleanliness of a home or person has no correlation to these two factors. Getting lice simply comes down to head to head contact, or more specifically, hair to hair contact with someone who already has an active case of lice.

The conclusion, then, is that lice can be dealt with much more effectively when it is known that there is an infestation. And it is easier to let other parents know that your child has lice when you understand that a case of lice is no reflection whatsoever on your parenting! When letting other parents know about a case of lice, you may want to point them in the direction of this article or perhaps information put out by the CDC. One helpful page puts it like this, “[g]etting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his environment; however, good hygiene is still important to help prevent and control the spread of head lice[.]”

The Nuisance of Lice

A lice infestation does not need to be as difficult to deal with as it has been in the past. It used to be that people relied on shampoos that were designed to kill lice. However, those shampoos don’t always work and often do not kill the eggs so it is necessary to continually comb through the hair for a period of about two weeks. Additionally, this method requires that your child have direct contact with an insecticide.

Combing out lice and eggs

Recently, however, a method of killing both lice and nits has been developed that requires no chemicals at all. This method is available only at the Lice Clinics of America. You can find your nearest clinic, schedule an appointment, and have the lice infestation stopped in one 90 minute treatment. Now that is something worth telling other parents about.

 

How to Have “The Talk” with your Kid’s School

Why is there shame and embarrassment associated with lice?

Why are parents reluctant to talk to the staff at their children’s school if their child has lice?

There are something like 6-12 million cases of head lice each year. Your child’s school has dealt with lice before and they will deal with it again. school kidsThey have some sort of a procedure in place for when these little bugs show up. If possible, it is best to know what the procedure is prior to any lice infestation. That way you will know who to contact and what to expect before anyone is feeling any actual worry.

Why the Embarrassment?

The first thing to consider is why there is embarrassment associated with lice. It is common to think that having lice somehow reflects poorly on someone’s hygiene. Perhaps other parents or the school will think that your home is not clean enough or that you don’t keep your children clean.

However, lice don’t care if their environment is clean or dirty. Lice simply need a human scalp with hair on it to survive. That head could be clean or dirty and could live in a pristine home or a poorly maintained house. There really is no correlation. The point is, there is no good reason for being embarrassed about your child having lice.

Lice are spread almost exclusively through head to head contact with an infested person. That means that children end up getting lice simply by being cute little children playing and interacting with their peers. Sometimes parents will have to care for a sick child because of this interaction or deal with lice, but it is not a poor reflection on your parenting! Keep this in mind, too, if it is another parent’s child that has lice.

Remember, school nurses, teachers, and staff have been dealing with lice throughout their careers. Usually they are a source of calm when parents get hysterical. They know the facts. Head lice have nothing to do with hygiene and cleanliness. They don’t cause any health problems. They will go away and getting rid of them doesn’t have to be that hard.  

Part of what has gotten parents so worked up in the past has been the idea that it is a huge problem to deal with lice. And, in the past, it has been difficult to deal with head lice. However, there is a highly effective method available to you that I will describe at the end of this blog.

Due to the panic that lice have induced in the past, many schools used to have what are known as “no-nit” policies. That is to say, children were not supposed to be in school until there were no live lice or nits (eggs) in their hair. The trouble is, nits do not spread. They are attached to the hair shaft with what is essentially a glue. Additionally, it is very common to mistake other things like dandruff, scabs, or other material for nits.

The CDC along with other organizations now distinguish between an active infestation (crawling lice) and other evidence of lice such as nits. These organizations do not support no-nit policies because they are unnecessary and keep children out of school for much too long.  

The Basics

Here is a list to make things simple

  1. Know what your school’s lice policy is at the beginning of the year before there are any issues.
  2. Remember that a lice infestation is not an issue of hygiene or cleanliness so you don’t need to feel embarrassed.
  3. If your child ends up with lice, let the appropriate person at their school know as soon as possible.
  4. Get rid of the lice!

How to Check Number 4 Off the List

That last point on the list may sound difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. The traditional methods of dealing with lice involve shampoos and combing along with re-checking and re-combing the hair to be sure all the nits are removed.
However, the Lice Clinics of America are changing that multi-step process. These clinics offer a simple and effective service that will take care of both the lice and nits in one 90 minute treatment. There are no chemicals involved and you won’t need to continually re-check your child’s head for the next couple of weeks. Check out the nearest clinic and schedule an appointment or have it ready to go as part of your plan for dealing with lice.

laundry after lice infestation

Laundry Nightmares – How to Clean Up After Lice

Does running something through the wash ensure that any lice or lice eggs are killed?

Do you need to use a special detergent to kill lice?

Will the lice survive anything short of spraying everything down with bug poison!?!?

The answers to these questions are actually quite simple. However, before you get to doing the laundry be sure that you are dealing with a confirmed infestation. It is surprisingly common for people to think they have lice when, in fact, they do not. Take your time to be sure you are dealing with an active infestation before you worry about clean up.

If you have been looking at any of the articles on this site, you know about the great treatment that the Lice Clinics of America offer. Once you have a confirmed infestation, it is important to deal with the primary source of the lice (the infested head) before you get to cleaning up around the house. After treating the infestation in a way that kills both the lice and nits (eggs) then you are ready for cleaning up the things around the house that have come in contact with the infested head.

What to Wash

First of all, it is not necessary to wash everything in your entire house. Lice cannot survive very long off the head of their human host. Therefore, lice are not trying to migrate around and overrun your house. There is no need to do some sort of a bug bomb that treats your entire home.

Instead, you simply gather up the clothes, bedding, towels, hair accessories, and brushes that have come into contact with the infested person. Once you have gathered all of these things together, you can begin the cleaning process.

Washing Procedure

The washing procedure is surprisingly straightforward. There is no need for special chemicals or detergents to kill the lice. You don’t need any unusual equipment or special training. The primary weapon against these bugs is…heat. Washing anything that has come in contact with the infested person in water that is at least 130 degrees fahrenheit is enough to kill these bugs.

laundry after lice

 

If there is anything that cannot be washed or soaked in hot water then it can be stored in a sealed plastic bag for two weeks.

For your convenience here is exactly what the CDC recommends.  

 

  1. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry–cleaned

OR

      sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.

  1. Soak combs and brushes in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
  2. Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, the risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a rug or carpet or furniture is very small. Head lice survive less than 1–2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed; nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the human scalp. Spending much time and money on housecleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.

 

As you can see, you don’t need any special tools or training. Head lice are adapted for living on a human scalp and not anywhere else. So once it is time to clean up, you can rest assured that some simple cleaning is enough.

The Initial Treatment

Once again, the clean up and laundry is only helpful if the infestation has been taken care of. Lice cannot continue to multiply their population on a pillow or in the carpet, they need the human head. The Lice Clinics of America offer a quick and easy solution that takes all the worry out of treatment. There are no chemicals used in the process so there are no side effects for the person or the environment. In addition, both the lice and nits are killed, and it only takes about 90 minutes. Call your nearest clinic and take the first and most important step toward completely removing your lice problem.