Health News

They’re yellow, pesky and need human blood to survive


No matter if your hair is clean or dirty, head lice can become anyone’s unexpected guest. And with close quarters in classrooms, daycare and even childcare centers at the gym – chances are, those little critters may crawl their way into your life. In fact, in the past week, Centra Care doctors saw an overall increase of 300% in patients treated for lice.

What Parents Need to Know

Put Down the Steamer: If you do receive that dreaded note from school, it’s important not to panic. Steam cleaning your entire home is more trouble than it’s worth. Instead, wash clothing and bed linens that were used 2 days before your little one was diagnosed. Then soak personal items like combs, brushes and hair accessories in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Finally, anything that can’t be washed or replaced (like stuffed animals), seal in plastic bags for about 2 weeks.

Don’t Blame Pets: Dogs, cats, and other domestic animals can’t catch or transmit head lice. Therefore, there’s no need to clean or quarantine Fido.

Hold the Mayo: From olive oil, vinegar, to mayo (yes, mayo) – there are many natural remedy claims for getting rid of lice. Even though the battle of lice is frustrating for parents, it’s important to visit a physician who can recommend prescription medication or over-the-counter treatment.

Sometimes Not Sharing is Caring: To prevent a lice infestation in the first place, remind little ones not to share hats, brushes, or other personal items. Even direct head-to-head contact from hugging can spread lice. So it may be helpful to show the love with a fist bump instead.

Feeling itchy yet? Watch as our panel shares their own head lice encounters and how the fear of them returning still impacts hairstyle choices.