The new school year is underway! And that means diligent young students are hitting the books, passing tests, gossiping in study hall, and getting head lice. Unfortunately, there are 8 to 12 million new cases of head lice each year. And while they may not be terribly dangerous, head lice are annoying—causing itchy scalps that may become inflamed—as well as highly contagious. They’re also rather disgusting. But contrary to popular belief, getting head lice has little to do with cleanliness, and isn’t a reflection of one’s personal hygiene (or their parents!).
Why are head lice so much more common in children? Because head lice have a much easier time attaching themselves to thinner hair follicles, and children have thinner hair follicles than adults. That, combined with the tight proximity of large numbers of children, makes schools an ideal breeding ground for head lice.
And given how prevalent they are, we’re going to share some effective tips to avoid head lice this school year:
- Don’t share hair brushes! That’s one of the most common ways that lice are spread. If someone’s infected, clean their brush in hot water (130°F or more) for 10 minutes.
- Don’t share clothes, especially hats.
- Avoid hair-to-hair contact. (Cut down on the head-butting!)
- If you or your child is infected, wash your clothes and bed sheets with high heat (preferably 130°F or more). Vacuum the furniture that you sat on and the floor that you walked on.
- Avoid fumigant sprays. They’re potentially toxic if inhaled, and are unnecessary for controlling head lice.
If you get your child to follow these guidelines, the only head-scratching they’ll do this year is during a tough test question! If you’ve got Nassau pests, go with Rest Easy Pest Control. Our team of trusted professionals will quickly take care of your problem so you can rest easy.