I’ve heard the horror stories. I’ve studied up on the signs and symptoms so that I will recognize them if they ever infiltrate our house. I hope that we will manage to keep them out, but with 3 young girls, I have the sneaking suspicion that we will have to deal with them someday. Especially since there are millions of cases in the US every year.
I’m talking about lice.
I know – ewwww, yuck! Believe me, the idea of anything crawling around near me, much less on me, gives me the creepy-crawlies. My head is itching even as I write this! But I know that it’s a topic that’s important to get educated on because it could happen to us – at any time. No matter how often you tell them not to, kids tend to share things. Like hats. And brushes. And hair clips. And lice can live for up to 48 hours off of a human head.
We’ve only had one lice scare so far – a few years ago when Abby brought home a letter telling us that one of her preschool classmates had a case of it. I was relieved to find no signs of them on her. But I’ve read accounts on blogs and message boards from people who have dealt with one or more cases of lice, and can imagine how difficult they are to get rid of. And if we ever have to, I want to make sure that we are using the products that will get rid of the lice in the quickest fashion – but yet be the safest for our kids.
As parents, we all worry nowadays about the chemicals present in everything from the food we eat, to the toys our kids play with. And the thought of putting something that’s basically a pesticide on my child’s head isn’t something I want to even consider. So what are the alternatives?
Mom Central has sent me a sample of a new product from Combe, Inc., called LiceMD®, a non-toxic and pesticide-free lice treatment. This is one sample that I hope to never have to use – but if I do, then I’ll be very glad to have it. LiceMD is pediatrician tested and clinically proven to eliminate lice, eggs and nits. It is also odorless and contains a conditioning agent that makes the comb out process easier and less stressful than ever before.
There are so many myths and half-truths out there about lice, and I have to admit that I didn’t know much about them either. I quickly became much more educated after reading through the LiceMD website. Here are a few of the things that I discovered (list taken from here):
- There are between 6 and 12 million cases of head lice each year.
- Head lice are the second most common condition among children – second only to the common cold.
- About 80 percent of schools across the country have at least one outbreak of head lice per year. Anyone can get head lice
- Pre-school and elementary aged children (those aged 3 to 12) are most commonly infested, girls more frequently than boys.
- Lice infestation is not due to poor hygiene. In fact, lice prefer to live on clean heads. Head lice spread easily by direct contact
- Head lice can be spread whenever there is direct contact between the head or hair with an infested individual.
- Lice can also be spread through the sharing of personal articles like hats, towels, brushes, helmets, hair ties, etc.
- There is also a possibility of spreading head lice via a pillow, headrest or similar items.
- Humans cannot get head lice from pets.
Some of these facts I had heard before, but I was surprised to find out exactly how common head lice cases are. Considering how many colds my kids have had, I am very thankful that we’ve managed to avoid lice for so long. And hoping that we will continue to be so lucky, but if not then I’m very glad to know there’s a safer alternative for treatment out there.
For more information, there is a good list of resources on the LiceMD website, and I’d like to point you to a few more that I’m also aware of. If you’ve ever dealt with head lice or have any more facts or tips to share, feel free to leave them in the comments!
Pediacast Episode #4 – Vitamins, potty training, lice, scoliosis
Pediacast Episode #27 – Infant death, cold air, lice treatment
Pediascribe (7/13/2006) – Ringworm and scabies and lice, oh my!
WebMD – Understanding lice and scabies – the basics
WebMD, Children’s Health – Lice medications