“No one wants to deal with head lice, especially after a hectic and stressful holiday period,” said Ryan Nelson, owner of Lice Clinics of America – Southwest Florida. “Parents have enough on their plates with the travel, entertaining, shopping, and cleaning everything up after the New Year.”
“Unfortunately, the holidays can be a peak time for head lice, so it is important to be vigilant,” Nelson said. “This is especially true if you traveled to spend time with other families or hosted other families in your home. Lice primarily spread through head-to-head contact, and children get lice more often than adults do because kids spend more time in close contact.”
“Whether you were the visitor or the visited,” Nelson says, “there are some steps you can take to ensure that you don’t send your child back to school with head lice. We put together this checklist for preventing head lice infestations after the holidays.”
- Get a professional lice screening. If there is a chance you or your children were exposed to head lice over the holidays, the best thing you can do for yourself and your peace of mind is get a professional head lice screening. We offer them for just $25, and if you do have head lice and choose to be treated at our clinic, the fee is waived. Head lice can be very difficult to diagnose, and false positives are very common. You do not want to get treated for head lice if you don’t have the bugs!
- Use preventative products. People tend to deal with head lice reactively—meaning we freak out when we find head lice in our children and try to get rid of the problem as fast as we can. That’s perfectly normal, but we now have products that can help to prevent head lice in the first place. Shampoos, conditioners, and sprays for hair, and products to treat bedding, clothing, and furniture where lice may have fallen are all available at our clinic and online. Unlike most over-the-counter lice products, all Lice Clinics of America products are pesticide-free.
- Keep long hair pulled back. The first few days of school are when your children are at the highest risk of getting head lice. Because lice spread through hair-to-hair contact, keeping long hair pulled back or in a braid can prevent exposure.
- Talk to your children about how head lice spread and help them understand behavior that can prevent them from getting head lice such as taking group photos with heads pressed together to fit in the picture or sharing combs and brushes. It’s rare, but head lice can spread when a strand of hair with a louse on it falls onto a coat, scarf, or hat, so sharing clothing with anyone that you know has head lice probably isn’t a good idea. The louse will crawl on to the first human head it can find because it cannot live anywhere but a human scalp.
- Don’t panic! If you do find head lice or suspect that your child has head lice, do not panic! Neither you, nor your child did anything wrong. Lice happens to everyone, and we now have the technology to get rid of head lice quickly and safely. Lice Clinics of America – Southwest Florida is the exclusive provider of lice treatment using the FDA-cleared AirAlléÒ medical device, which is clinically shown to kill live lice and eggs (nits) in a single treatment that takes about an hour. It’s easy and it has successfully treated nearly half a million cases of head lice worldwide!
Lice Clinics of America – Southwest Florida is one of more than 350 Lice Clinics of America treatment centers in more than 36 countries. Lice Clinics of America is the largest and fastest growing network of professional head lice treatment centers in the world.