"Your child has lice." It's not what you want to hear when you're called in to school to pick your little one up from kindergarten. Especially these days, when treating lice isn't as easy as using an over-the-counter lice-killing shampoo.
Scientists have found that a new strain of lice has built up an immunity to the traditional forms of treatment. Lice shampoos that used to be 100 percent effective as recently as 2013 now only eradicate lice in a quarter of all cases. What's worse is the fact that these "super lice" have now appeared in over 25 states, causing parents everywhere concern.
Read on for helpful tips on what you can do if you're child is struck with lice.
With this new strain of super lice proving hard to remove, families are looking for new solutions. The two most effective ways to treat super lice include lice clinics and a new FDA approved medicine. The lice clinics use a combination of medicine and expert combing-and-picking skills, but may require multiple visits to completely eradicate the bugs. The medication, Airallé, also works, but is costly at $170. If you choose to go this route, make sure to check if it is covered by health insurance.
As always, knowledge is your best defense. According to the CDC, “head-to-head contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Although uncommon, head lice can be spread by sharing clothing or belongings. This happens when lice crawl, or nits attached to shed hair hatch, and get on the shared clothing or belongings.” This means that anything from school uniforms and scarves to hair ribbons and brushes, as well as towels and stuffed animals, can host the pests. So you may want to talk to your child about sharing such items with their friends.
While you can’t be sure your child doesn’t share an infected item of clothing, you can be on the lookout at home. Read up on the warning signs of lice, such as an irritated and itchy scalp. And if you’re unsure whether your child has lice, make a vertical part along the nape area of his or her neck and closely inspect it for bugs with a fine-toothed comb.
While getting super lice is super annoying, education and prevention go a long way toward keeping the pesky critters at bay.
Please share this with anyone you know with children and join us in the fight to spread lice awareness!
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