Head Lice Detection, Prevention and Controlling the spread
How does a person get head lice?
Head lice are contagious and transmitted directly from one person to another or by contact with articles that have been used by an infested person (such as brushes, hats, scarves, bedding and upholstery). Head lice do not have wings; they are crawling insects and are transferred from person to person, not dogs, cats or other pets. Head lice are most often found on school-age children, particularly those in the lower grades. Lice are commonly spread via close contact with other children, or via public seating venues such as movie theater/airplane seats.
How does one detect head lice?
The presence of head lice is usually, but not always, accompanied by head tingling and or scratching with intense itching of the scalp or redness caused by small bite marks on the scalp. There also many be swelling of the lymph glands located on the back of the neck and near the ears. Close inspection of the hair and scalp with a nit comb, natural sunlight or strong light and magnifying glass will sometimes reveal the tinny grayish brown adult lice; however it is more likely to see their eggs, which are silver or yellowish oval specks attached to the hair shafts above 1/4 inches from the scalp. They tend to be found at the nape of the neck, behind the ears or around the hairline. Live lice are very small grayish-brown in color and are difficult to see. They cannot survive without a human host for more than 48 hours. The lice lay eggs, or nits, which are silver or yellowish in appearance and are attached to the individual hair shaft. The nits cannot be brushed off like pieces of dandruff.
What should be done when head lice are detected?
First of all, DON'T PANIC! The infestation is easy to control, if detected and properly treated before it has a chance to spread. At Magic Nit Pick All Natural Head Lice Removal Salons located in Studio City and Santa Clarita Valley, the condition can usually be corrected in one day, and additional absence from school is unnecessary. Secondly, having head lice is not a social disgrace. It is not symptomatic of any lack of cleanliness or personal hygiene. Please inform the school immediately so the staff can take the necessary measures to inspect and advise other children.
COMPLETE and THOROUGH treatment is necessary to successfully eliminate head lice. Shampooing with a product that contains pediculicide might kill the lice and some of the eggs. However, the eggs (nits) are more difficult to kill, so it is very important to also remove all nits from all the hair shafts. Nits cannot be blown off or brushed off like dandruff or skin flakes. Treatment must be used immediately when head lice are discovered and then repeated within 3-7 days, because of the possibility of self-infestation from the hatching of eggs that were missed during the first treatment and therefore not killed. No solvent (vinegar, mayonnaise, olive oil etc.) will effectively dissolve the glue that holds nits to hair. It should also be noted that more than one treatment is required to destroy the infestation.
How to prevent spreading Head Lice:
- Discourage head-to-head contact and sharing of hats, scarves, brushes, combs and headwear
- Head Check young school aged children weekly for head lice, more often if there is an outbreak
- Treat all family members with head lice at the same time
- For children Pre K to 6th grade, make sure to use preventative products
- Braids and Buns really do reduce the chance of contracting head lice
- Sleepovers sleep in star pattern
- Frequently Wash helmets, car seat headrest and headphones
- Break the silence and let the secret out if you have lice to help reduce transferability
**LICE PREVENTATIVE PRODUCTS: We offer the Nit Free Line of Preventative Shampoos, Conditioners and Mint Repellant Sprays that all offer up to 8 hours of Lice Protection. Please click on our Lice Treatment Producsts for details.