Rumors are spreading through social media and even the nightly news about super lice that are showing resistance to over the counter products. Reports indicate that 48 of the states across the country have seen victims of these super lice so far. Amidst all of this, children with head lice are not the only ones scratching their heads. Parents are left stressed, unsure where to turn and what to do.
When you step back and look at the facts, super lice are really not that super. Any parent who is informed can take action to protect their family to prevent or eliminate them. In the 1990’s shampoos with the active ingredient permethrin, a synthetic pyrethrin chemical hit the shelves of stores. Anyone could purchase these to treat head lice. After thirty years of use, certain lice have started to develop immunities to permethrin. In short, over the counter treatments are just not killing them anymore. So, as a parent who is worried about head lice, whether they are super or not, here are some things to proactively protect your family against head lice.
Quick Tips to Help You Become Prepared Against Super Lice
- Talk to Your Kids About Prevention. When you children are actively attending schools, daycares, dance classes, participating in sports, or even playing with neighborhood kids they are always at risk. Talk to them about the boundaries. Do not share hats, helmets, hair accessories, hair brushes, pillows, hoodies or any type of item that touches the head. Remind young teens or anyone using mobile devices the risks of watching youtube or posting to Facebook with friends, heads pushed together to see the small screen. Talk about it often. Remember prevention is much less headache than getting rid of lice once they’ve infected your family.
- Wash or Sanitize Outerwear and School Gear. At least once a week or as often as you desire, take your child’s school backpack, winter coats, gloves, hats, mittens and throw them in the dryer on a high heat setting for 20 minutes. This can greatly reduce the risk of transmitting lice if they happen to be lurking on any clothing your child takes to school every day.
- Do Regular Scalp Checks. Get yourself a nit comb. Take sections of your child’s hair and using the comb, sift through sections looking for any small brown lice, the size of a sesame seed. Or minuscule, yellow in color, oval nits, or lice eggs that will be close to the base of the scalp. After combing through each section, dip the comb in hot water or wipe with a paper cloth to remove any traces. This can be very helpful for you in determining if your child has a problem. If you are struggling to determine between lice eggs or dandruff, remember that dandruff flakes off easily and is not attached to hair strands. Nits are laid directly onto hair strands with a sticky secretion that makes them more difficult to peel off. Checking your child’s head often can be an important step in getting a jump on the problem.
- Talk to Your Friends. Don’t keep these tips to yourself! Spread the word about preventing head lice to your friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow parents, and anyone who could benefit from it. If those who your family is surrounded by are also aware of the head lice problem, chances will be greater your family can dodge the dilemma.