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The pencils are packed and your kids are ready to head back to school. While they study up on social studies and math, you may want to do some studying, too – on head lice. Here are a few things you should know.
Contrary to popular belief, lice are not a sign of poor hygiene. Your child – and any child – can pick up head lice through close head-to-head contact with another or by sharing personal items such as hats, coats, brushes, combs, hoodies, and more. Lice can also spread in areas where children’s belongings are in close contact, such as in coat rooms or cubbies.
To help alleviate lice concerns, it’s important to teach your child not to share personal items used on or worn near the head. If your child begins scratching his or head frequently, inspect for lice. Use a bright light and part the hair at several places and look for live lice – about the size of a sesame seed and grayish-white to tan in color – or eggs, called nits. Nits will be tiny yellow dots attached to the hair shaft close to the scalp.
If your child does contract lice, Ehrlich recommends these best practices from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Purchase and apply an approved lice treatment, according to the instructions on the box or label. Some lice have become resistant to traditional over-the-counter treatments. Consult your family physician on the best treatment for your child.
Use a special nit comb to remove lice and nits from the hair shaft.
Especially for those with long hair or heavy lice activity, it may be necessary to repeat treatment.
Check other family members that have come in contact with your child for lice.
Using hot water, machine wash any clothing, sheets, pillowcases, towels, and even stuffed animals your child has used in the last 2 – 3 days. It’s very important to dry these items on high heat to kill any lice or eggs.
Vacuum furniture and floor areas where your child has been. Lice can’t survive long without a human, but vacuuming can help prevent another family member from developing a problem.
To keep head lice away for good, contact your local Ehrlich specialists for professional pest control. Fill out our online contact form our call us at 888-986-2074.
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