The Truth Behind Common Myths Surrounding Lice

Lice is a common fear for any parent of school aged-children.  It seems that every year, without fail, that dreaded letter comes home, crumpled up in the bottom of the school bag, alerting parents that a child in the school has lice and the parents should check to ensure that his or her child does not.  If your child was unfortunate enough to catch lice, there is no need to panic!  A head louse is a tiny, wingless parasitic insect that lives in hair and feeds on tiny amounts of blood drawn from the scalp.  And while they are contagious and sometimes tough to get rid of, they are not dangerous, do not spread disease or bite, and there is professional treatment for head lice on Long Island!  In addition, many myths you hear with regard to head lice are not accurate.  So before you panic, here are some busted myths about lice.


Myth One: Lice are only attracted to children with clean hair. This is completely false.  Head lice infest children regardless of whether the child’s hair has not been washed in a month or was washed fresh that morning.  Lice are contracted through head to head contact with another individual that has lice.  Anyone can contract lice, regardless of the cleanliness of their home, school or playground if their hair comes into contact with the hair of an individual with lice.


Myth Two: You will know your child has lice because he or she will be constantly itching.  Not everyone who contracts lice will itch.  Lice do not bite, and therefore the itching is not caused by bites, such as mosquito bites that cause everyone to itch.  The reason some individuals itch due to lice is a allergy to louse saliva, which not everyone has.  Constant scratching of the head, or little red irritation bumps from scratching, is one sign of a lice infestation.  However, it is more likely you will actually see the lice when you realize of the infestation.


Myth Three: Head lice are dangerous.  Other than being annoying and potentially itchy, lice are not remotely dangerous or painful.  Lice are insects but they do not carry any disease and the only possibility of infection is not based on lice themselves but on the potential scratching that could cause a secondary skin infection.  Lice feed on blood, but extremely low amounts that do not affect the health or well-being of an individual with lice.  And, they do not dig or burrow into the skin for the blood.


Myth Four: Children with lice should be isolated until all they are lice and nit-free.  This is not necessarily the case.  Lice are most frequently spread through head-to-head contact (and less often through sharing personal items, such as hats) because this allows the lice to travel from one person’s hair to another.  Lice cannot jump from one person to another so transmission can be prevented by avoiding close contact and not sharing personal items.  Keeping a child with head lice out of school until he or she is in the clear is not necessary as long as the child has begun a lice treatment.


Myth Five: Head lice will live on a pillowcase, in a hat or on other personal items that come in contact with the hair for weeks at a time.  While lice can stay alive away from the human host for a day or two, a louse will not survive past a few days as they require feeding on human blood for survival.  Because of this, it is not necessary to freeze all of your child’s belongings in plastic bags or leave them in bags for several weeks, as was once recommended.  You can simply vacuum any areas your child may have rested his or her head and wash the sheets and towels with hot water to kill any lice or nits.


The bottom line is, that while lice is quite an annoyance and can lead to a slight disruption to normal life, they are nothing to panic over.  With the services of a Long Island lice removal company, such as Lice Cops, your child can return to his or her daily routine and be lice free in no time with absolutely no lingering effects.  A top lice treatment company on Long Island will methodically and meticulously remove the lice from your child’s hair, provide you with the cleaning supplies and tips you need to ensure that your home is lice free and provide you with safe follow up instructions to guarantee that there is no re-infestation.  You can then quickly move on from the itchy and inconvenient lice situation and be back to lice-free life!

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