“Winter reminds us that everyone and everything needs some quiet time,” wrote well-known modern author Katrina Mayer. If only that were the case for head lice. Even in winter months parents should keep up their guard against head lice to make sure all the family members in your home have a peaceful winter season. Here’s a list of quick winter facts that every parent should know to keep their winter lice free.
Winter Fact #1- Lice Do Not Die Off In Cold Weather
How is that possible when all the other insects around seem to grow dormant in the winter? Think about it, head lice are human parasites. They do not live outdoors in the frozen natural habitats that other insects occupy. They live on the human scalp, they eat human blood and as long as their host is a warm 98.6 degrees they will be perfectly healthy and happy.
Winter Fact #2 – Lice Love Cold Weather Accessories
Ok, so maybe lice aren’t capable of loving anything – but they often find their way into the woven material on hats, scarves, hoodies, and beanies. Here they can lie in wait for a new host to feed on or lay their eggs for the next person who puts it on. Have you ever watched your young child as they raced into a basketball practice, church group activity or karate practice? What happens to their gloves, hats and winter coats? More often than not a large pile of them end up at the doorway thrown on top of each other. This makeshift pile of winter weather accessories is just a case of head lice waiting to happen. Lice or nits can fall off of an infested item from another child and land on your child’s gear. Take time every week to gather up their winter items and throw them in the dryer for 20 minutes. This will eliminate any traces of lice and keep your kids healthier. Also, teach your kids to hang up their coats, put hats and gloves into their coat pockets and away from the growing pile of other kids clothes.
Winter Fact #3 – Indoor Activities Make Kids more Prone to Passing On Lice
When the cold wind blows, most kids want to stay inside. That means friends gather to indoor homes where they play video games, watch Netflix, and take selfies all day. Most often more kids in close proximity for longer periods of time means more head lice passed on to others. Holiday vacations add to the problem. So, before you send your child off for a slumber party or an overnighter with cousins, make sure they use their own pillows, hairbrushes, towels and blankets. Wash all belongings once they return home to ensure you don’t bring any hitchhiking lice into your home.
Winter Fact #4- Checking for Head Lice is Always a Good Idea
Make time in your busy schedule to do head lice checks on your own kids. Get a fine toothed comb, have them sit down and carefully check for any signs of head lice. Nits, yellow in color, will be laid along the base of the scalp if adult lice are present. They are applied with a glue like secretion that keeps them from easily falling off like a dandruff flake would. Also, when lice feed their saliva leave red and swollen marks on the skin. Any rashes, bumps or itchy patches are definitely warning signs. Contact your local Lice Clinic of America if you have any issues while performing head lice checks. We have a knowledgeable staff that is readily available to help you with any needs, concerns or questions involving head lice