Head lice infestations tend to increase this time of year
The start of the school year and cooler weather create the right conditions for head lice that’s spread through head to head contact.
“They are a horrible nuisances, they are not dangerous, they are common in children of all socioeconomic groups and does not mean that your house or children are not clean,” said Ann Irvin a public health nurse with Northwest Colorado Health.
Head lice hatch from eggs called nits.
“Outbreaks can occur at any time, but it seems to occur more during the school year. We have cases every year. They are very common and in the Steamboat schools right now,” Irvin said.
The Centers for Disease Control advises that “students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun. The burden of unnecessary absenteeism outweighs the risks associated with head lice.”
Head lice can be difficult to get rid of unless treatment is persistent but the best treatments are simple and readily available.
“The common reaction is to freak out” Irvin said recounting stories about parents putting oil and fuel on their children in an attempt to smoother the bugs and instead burned their children.
“Most people tend to overreact. We discourage shaving the head as the pesticides used can be dangerous and hair helps to keep it away from the skin,” Irvin said. “Over-the counter treatments work so long as you are persistent with the treatment exactly as recommended. People continue to treat when what they need to be doing is just wet combing with special nit comb.”
Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.
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