Social Media Lice 0
In the current smartphone era, lice are no longer just a nuisance in local elementary schools. A trend which has been dubbed “social media lice” has led to an uptick in head lice cases in teenagers nationwide. Caused by youths cramming their heads together to take “selfies,” lice are transferred on contact and doctors are taking note of this surge in teenagers with lice, something that was unheard of five years ago. In fact, the trend is causing some school associations to rethink their “no-nit” policies, as evidenced by school officials in Brookings, Oregon. As the spreading of lice continues to evolve in creative ways, so must schools to combat absenteeism and the hidden costs of these pesky parasites.
Lice prevalence is quite common in the United States, with the CDC estimating that up to 12 million infestations occur every year. Female lice can lay up to six eggs, or nits, every day. Eggs are laid on the shaft of hair and those less than six millimeters from the scalp are most likely to hatch. Nits are glued on to the hair by secretions from the female louse. Anyone can technically get lice, although they are most common in small children due to the constant sharing of hats, toys and close contact through playing.
There is often a negative stigma that accompanies contracting lice, however lice are not a health hazard and they are not a sign of poor hygiene. In most school settings, when nits are found in children’s hair they are sent home to avoid spreading the infestations further. This act of removing children from school is known as a “no-nit” policy, and it often leads to shame and embarrassment. This ostracism is only worse in teenage settings and can have a damaging effect on self-esteem.
Through the guiding hands of district school nurse Alice Sandusky, the Brookings-Harbor School Board recently approved a new policy which will keep children with head lice in school to avoid unnecessary embarrassment and cut down on absences. Sandusky points out that, “lice cannot be spread as easily as people might think. The norovirus and the flu spread more easily.” What will the school system do instead? The answer is that both students and parents will be educated as to how to both eliminate and prevent head lice. Although surprised given the prevalence of the traditional “no-nit” policy, District Superintendent Sean Gallagher was relieved that the school district’s policy is changing in order to combat chronic absenteeism.
In fact, Sandusky said the American Academy of Pediatrics, the CDC and the National Association of School Nurses advocate that no-nit school policies should be discontinued for the following reasons:
- Many nits are more than a quarter-inch from the scalp. Such nits are usually not viable and very unlikely to hatch to become crawling lice — and often are empty shells, also known as “casings;”
- Nits are cemented to hair shafts and are very unlikely to transfer successfully to other people; and
- The burden of unnecessary chronic absenteeism to the students, families and communities far outweighs the risks associated with head lice.
All this sounds great, but what does this mean for parents of school-aged children? While no-nit policies may be trending towards extinction, the fact still remains that lice prevalence in schools remain a problem and that “social media lice” aren’t the last lice fad which will create havoc in school settings. Sandusky’s goal, and one which is shared by many of those fighting on the front lines, is to continue to educate parents and children. Children and teens alike need to be cognizant of sharing their personal space when taking photos, and parents need to be diligent in continuously checking their kids’ hair for lice and nits.
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Head lice is a widespread problem! 0
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that up to 12 million children aged 3 to 12 contract lice in the United States each year!
Pediatrics, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, cites studies that claim that 12 to 24 million days of school annually are lost to lice infestations and schools' 'no nit' policies. AND the economic burden for parents is mounting! Pharmacotherapy alone costs the United States economy $240 million per year and estimates for direct and indirect costs may be as high as $1 billion per year!
Don't get bogged down in the expenses, make it simple and buy a RobiComb from LiceGuard! Click here to see where the RobiComb is sold!
- LiceGuard Webmaster
Effectiveness of "Natural" Lice Products 0
Beware of the classic "all-natural" tagline when deciding which lice product to buy for your children!
Not only do most of the natural products on the market lack clinical proof of efficacy, they can also be dangerous. For instance:
- The neurotoxin Pyrethrin is actually derived from chrysanthemum flowers;
- Tea tree oil is toxic if ingested;
- Recent University of Maryland Medical Center research warms against pregnant women and small children being exposed to Eucalyptus oil; and
- Lavender oil can have serious side effects and can spur adverse reactions.
In order to avoid any sort of harm, try LiceGuard's RobiComb! It uses electronic pulses to zap lice on contact, removing the need for any potential toxic ingredients. AND there are clinical studies proving its efficacy at removing lice and eggs!
Beware of Toxic OTC and Prescription Lice Treatments! 0
75% of the lice product market is dominated by "big brand" lice treatment shampoos and ointments that contain Permethrin or Pyrethroids, which are not only pesticides, but also neurotoxins.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a 2009 memorandum classificed Permethrin as "likely carcinogenic to humans."
The National Pediculosis Association (NPA), a non-profit group that advocates on head lice issues, has collected over 1,000 reports linking the use of pesticide shampoos to seizures, behavioral problems and leukemia.
What should you do instead to keep your children safe? Use LiceGuard's suite of lice treatment products! They are non-toxic and pesticide free!
Don't let lice haunt your house after Halloween fun! 0
Of all the frightening creepy crawlies around at Halloween, there is one you definitely can and should protect your children (and yourself!) from – HEAD LICE! While the new strain of SUPER LICE is SUPER SCARY there are easy things you can do to avoid being infested by these ghastly ghouls.
Here are a few expert tips for avoiding lice this time of year:
- If possible, put all new or borrowed costume items in a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours before wearing them. Without a host to feed on, any head lice will die within 24-48 hours.
- If time is short, place costume items in a dryer on high heat for 45 minutes before wearing them. Check labels first and be sure to avoid drying any items that might be damaged by the heat.
- When borrowing wigs, masks, or hats, use a swimming cap to cover your child’s own hair. This creates a physical barrier that will be tough for lice to cross.
- Encourage your child not to share personal items such as head bands, hats, masks, wigs, etc. This includes trying on costumes that have been previously opened in stores.
- Examine your child’s head when he/she returns from parties or sleepovers for at least 7 days after a possible exposure to head lice. The RobiCombis a great tool for conducting a quick and easy check - simply comb it through your child's hair and listen for any indications of lice as the comb zaps them on contact.
- Last but not least, use a lice repellent spray to ward off any hopeful crawlers. Just a few squirts of LiceGuard's Lice Repellent Spray will help protect your child from head lice for 24 hours. Check out your local Walgreen's store for great deals on our repellent spray.
HAVE A SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN!
- LiceGuard Webmaster