I know some of us parents are already counting down the days for when our kids go back to school (although we literally just got back from our family beach vacation).
With back-to-school season just around the corner, I thought there’s no better time than now to talk about head lice. Yes, head lice. You may be surprised to know, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lice infestation is the second most frequent health issue for school-age kids in the U.S., each year affecting more than 12 million children, ages 3 to 11, second only to the common cold. I was surprised to learn about this myself.
If you’re a parent of school-age children like I am, chances are, you have received the dreaded Lice Letter from your child’s school informing you that your child has been exposed to a head lice outbreak. (I know. It’s gross). Luckily, we haven’t had to deal with head lice with our three boys at all (now ages 21, 13 and 11). Thank goodness. Even if we did there are a lot of source reference tools available for us to help combat a lice outbreak.
So what do you do if your child has been exposed to the lice outbreak in school? And how much do you know about head lice?
First, don’t panic. Here, I’m sharing with you a few helpful tips for treating and preventing head lice, and debunking the most common myths and truths about head lice and lice infestation.
It is a myth that head lice:
- are a sign that a person or home is unclean
- can jump, fly and survive long off a host
- infest buildings
- burrow into skin or transmit infections
- are resistant to all treatments
- should prevent a child from attending school
- Lice is spread by head to head contact with an infested person. This contact is common during play at school, home and elsewhere (sports activities, sleepovers).
- Head lice survive less than 1-2 days if they fall off a person and cannot feed. Nits cannot hatch and usually die within a week if they are not kept at the same temperature as that found close to the scalp. Lice cannot hop or fly, they only crawl.
- Although uncommon, head lice can be spread by sharing clothing or belongings. This happens when lice crawl, or nits attached to shed hair hatch, and get on the shared clothing or belongings. Examples include:
- sharing clothing (hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms) or articles (hair ribbons, barrettes, combs, brushes, towels, stuffed animals) recently worn or used by an infested person;
- or lying on a bed, couch, pillow, or carpet that has recently been in contact with an infested person.
- Routine checks of all students for lice is not recommended. Studies have found that they do not decrease the incidence of lice and are not proven to decrease the transmission. The interruptions and loss of class instruction is far more detrimental. Instead, check for lice in your child at home. Vamousse has a simple step-by-step guide on how to do that here.
- Dogs, cats, and other pets do not play a role in the spread of head lice.
In general, there are 3 steps in treating head lice:
- KILL THE LICE
Treatment comes in a variety of forms. Fortunately, you don’t need a prescription for Vamousse Lice Treatment. This product resolves the head lice situation with the first application – “one and done” – so you can get back to focusing on school and life, not the itchy effects of head lice.
Many products require a second application because the pesticides do not kill eggs. The 7-10 day retreatment is required in order to kill the new lice that hatch from the eggs that were left unscathed in the first treatment. Vamousse works differently to dehydrate the eggs with the first application. Vamousse Lice Treatment is clinically proven to kill lice and eggs in one treatment, is safe, non-toxic, and pesticide-free. It’s also proven effective against pesticide-resistant super lice.
- COMB OUT THE NITS
Nits, even when dead, do not fall out of the hair. Vamousse Lice Treatment comes with a super easy step-by-step instructions and a handy lice comb to remove all dead lice and nits after applying the treatment to the hair and scalp.
- PREVENT LICE FROM SPREADING
In general, you don’t need to throw away any items belonging to your child. But following these tips will prevent lice from spreading:
- Wash your child’s clothes, towels, hats, bed linens in HOT water and dry them on HIGH HEAT in the dryer. According to CDC, washing, soaking, or drying items at a temperature greater than 130°F can kill both head lice and nits.
- Soak combs and brushes in boiling water for 5-10 minutes
- Vacuum furniture, carpeting, car seats and any other fabrics your child was in contact with 24-48 hours before the hair treatment was done. For flooring and furniture, there’s Vamousse Lice Prevention Powder proven to kill lice and dust mites by contact in the household environment following a 1-hour exposure. It’s safe, non-toxic, and contains no synthetic pesticides. It’s great to use as a final step in cleaning your home after treating an infestation.
- Any fabric household articles that can be washed, should be cleaned by washing and then drying them on high heat (130°F) to eliminate any lice.
- Do not spray pesticides in your home as these can be very dangerous chemicals.
- Check other family members and notify others such as extended family and friends from sleepovers and other activities who may have had head-to-head contact with your child.
- Only treat if nits or live lice are seen.
1. Look for signs of head lice. Conduct head checks early and often. The best way to catch head lice early is by doing regular head checks. Signs may include: tickling feeling on the head/scalp and back of neck or behind ears; frequent itching of the scalp, and sores on the head caused by scratching. The best way to catch head lice early is by doing regular head checks. Here’s how:
- Under a bright light, check for lice and eggs. Watch for movement as lice will quickly travel away from the light.
- Part your child’s hair to examine the scalp, lice may look like dandruff, but they cannot easily be removed.
- Use a lice comb to work through small sections of hair looking for lice or nits (lice eggs). Pay extra attention to the nape of the neck, behind ears, under bangs and the crown of the head.
2. Avoid sharing personal items like hats, combs, brushes, hair accessories, towels and pillows.
If you suspect your child has been exposed to head lice, use Vamousse Lice Defense Daily Shampoo. Lab studies have shown that Vamousse Daily Defense Shampoo kills lice with daily hair washing. Use Vamousse in place of your child’s regular shampoo for 10 to 14 days after suspected exposure to lice. Don’t wait for itching symptoms to manifest! It can take 4-6 weeks, during which time an infestation will have grown unchecked.
3. Be proactive and don’t wait for that dreaded Lice Letter from school to arrive. Instead, use Vamousse Lice Repellent & Nit Defense – a safe, non-toxic spray made with essential oils designed to use on your child’s hair and scalp daily, even BEFORE an outbreak occurs. It repels lice without synthetic pesticides, and deters them from even laying eggs. It’s great to use at school year-round or before going to a sleepover, before sending your kids to summer camp or any school and/or group activity trips.
To learn more about the Vamousse Lice Treatment products, go visit them online at VamousseLice.com or follow them on their social media pages for the latest updates and special offers!
The Vamousse Lice Treatment line of products are available for purchase at CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, at major grocery and mass retail stores, and online at Amazon.com and CVS.com. To locate a store near you that carry Vamousse products, go here.
Win a 4 oz. sample of Vamousse Lice Defense DailyShampoo and hair accessories, courtesy of Vamousse! Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. Contest is open to US addresses only and ends on 08/17/18 at 11:59M, EST. Good luck!
American Academy of Pediatrics
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Compensation was provided by Vamousse via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Vamousse or Momtrends.