There’s nothing scarier than hearing about a lice outbreak at your child’s school and worrying about what will happen if your little one gets lice. But are lice really such a big deal? There are tons of lice myths on social media, so let’s clear some of them up and discuss how to protect your kid from lice.
1. Only kids with poor hygience get lice.
Head lice do not result from poor hygiene, but proper hygiene can help prevent head lice. For example, sharing hats, brushes, or any other item that touches your little one’s hair for an extended time should not be shared without proper cleaning between uses.
2. Head lice can "jump" from one head to another.
Head lice are crawling insects that cannot jump, hop, or fly. The primary way lice spread is from close, maintained head-to-head contact.
3. Your little one can get lice from a dog or cat.
Head lice like humans best— your child is free to hang out with all of their animal friends!
4. Lice can be spread in a swimming pool.
While lice can survive underwater for several hours, it’s not likely that they’ll be spread in a swimming pool. Head lice have been shown to hold onto human hair tightly when submerged under water, and they won’t let go.
5. Head lice live a long time off the scalp.
Without a host, head lice will survive for less than a day or two. Their eggs won’t make it a week, and it’s not likely that they’ll hatch in that time.
6. You can suffocate head lice by covering your hair with a fatty substance.
This is an old wive’s tale that has not been proven effective.It’s best to use an FDA-approved treatment recommended by a hair stylist or doctor.
How to Prevent Lice
- Avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities.
- Don’t share clothing or accessories that touch your hair without proper cleaning.
- Do not share combs, brushes, or towels without cleaning them first.
- To prevent spread or re-infestation after treatment, machine wash and dry clothing, linens, and other items used by an infested person using high heat on both cycles. Anything that cannot be washed or dry-cleaned should be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks.
- Use a rosemary spray, conditioner, or shampoo to repel lice. We recommend the Rosemary Repel® line by Fairy Tales. You can pick up their products from Pigtails & Crewcuts East Cobb!