Anybody can get head lice—just ask supermodel mom Heidi Klum, whose kids came down with a case of head lice twice over the last few years. School may be on the way out for the summer, but your trouble with head lice may not be over. If your kids are heading to summer programs or summer camps, you could easily still have to deal with the creepy crawlers. And this year, it could be more problematic than ever before. This are the three things you should know.
1.) The standard treatments now only work 1 out of 4 times.
Like other insects, head lice are resilient little creatures—and they've adapted over the last decade. A new strain of "super lice" has developed in at least 25 states and they're immune to most over-the-counter treatments. A new treatment involving heated air can be performed in some lice treatment clinics, and it's guaranteed after one visit. While the cost is $170, it may be less expensive in the long run than buying a series of ineffective treatments. Lice can also be manually removed in lice treatment clinics through professional combing, which keeps harmful chemicals and pesticides off your children's skin. Either method will likely be faster and better than trying to use an over-the-counter shampoo.
2.) There's no reason to go crazy cleaning.
Head lice isn't a reflection of your housekeeping nor your child's personal hygiene. The little bugs need a steady supply of human blood in order to survive—they need to feed every 4 hours. If you keep them away from a human host for 24 hours, they'll die. That means that there's no need to throw out stuffed animals and deep clean every blanket and pillow in the house. You also don't have to worry that the household dog or family cat is going to catch lice either. Clean the bedding, pillows, and any dirty laundry belonging to household members who are afflicted with lice and don't worry about the rest.
3.) You don't have to keep your children home from everything.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently changed its policies on head lice. Schools, daycares, and other facilities used to be advised to send children home at the sign of a single louse or nit. This followed the mistaken belief that head lice could jump from person to person. In reality, they can crawl pretty quickly, but it generally requires head-to-head contact in order for the bugs to transfer. Lice also don't transmit any sort of disease and aren't considered a health danger.
For help dealing with a head lice problem, contact a treatment center in your area today.