Until a few years ago, approaches to head lice were based on old wives
tales, misconceptions and marketing departments for the companies who
made products for profit from Head Lice Hysteria. Luckily, we now have
research upon which to base our practice. Thank you, Harvard!
Head lice are not a sign of uncleanliness; they love clean hair because
it is easier to latch on.
3. Lice do not hop, jump or fly; the
only way they can get from one person to another is direct touching,
4. Lice are not passed on pets. The only place head
lice can survive and thrive is on the human head.
5. When found,
most cases of head lice are already more than a month old. One sign is a
red itchy rash on the back of the neck, just below the hair line.
Because of use and overuse of head lice shampoos, head lice have become
resistant to the products that once would kill them, so no head lice
product is 100% effective, even if you follow the directions to the
letter. That is why combing and nit removal is important.
Never treat or retreat "just in case" in the absence of live lice. Head
lice products are pesticides, which are toxic if overused and can be
absorbed through the skin. Follow the directions carefully.
Removing the nits (eggs) and live lice with a special metal-tooth comb
is time-consuming but the most effective way to get rid of them. They do
not wash out.
9. Hats and coats touching in school are not
sources of lice and there is no need to separate or bag them. A louse on
a hat or coat is a dying louse who will not be capable of reproducing.
Healthy ones stay close to the scalp until they sense another human
head. They cannot survive without blood, that is why they bite.
Head lice are not a source of infection or disease; they are simply a
11. Schools are not the most common places where head
lice are spread, even though schools have been blamed in the past.
Sleep-overs among friends and relatives are thought to be a common way
they are passed home to home.
12. School-wide head checks are not
recommended or endorsed by the Harvard School of Public Health, the
American Academy of Pediatrics or the Centers for Disease Control. The
most effective screening occurs when parents check their own children at
home, treat if any are found, and make efforts to remove the nits.
One of the biggest challenges in eliminating head lice is parents'
discomfort in communicating about the problem with other parents when
they find head lice, so they are more easily passed back and forth among
close friends and relatives.
14. "No-nit" policies, ie. not
allowing children back into school with nits even though treated, is no
longer practiced in most schools because it has been proven that these
policies do not impact the spread of lice.
15. You will always be
able to find web sites that promote drastic measures like sprays,
special products and "no-nit" policies. Pay attention to who they are!
Many of these web sites are either not based on up-to-date research or
are commercial sites in the business of selling a product, and it is in
their interests to keep Headlice Hysteria alive, otherwise there go
16. Nit and lice removal is tedious but there are
some simple products that may help. Vinegar, real mayonnaise, olive oil
and Dawn Dish soap all have their fans, even though none of these have
been proven. The way they seem to help is to loosen the "cement" that
the nits use to attach to the hair shaft.
17. Shaving the head or
cutting the hair will not affect how easily a child catches lice,
though these make nit removal easier. Don't do this unless your child
wants you to. A child's self-esteem is much more important than a few
18. Grandma's old remedy of kerosene for head lice
does not work and is dangerous! Children have died from inhaling the
vapors, or from being burned because it is highly flammable. Never use
19. Most schools want children with head lice treated
and back in school right away.
20. School nurses are supportive
advocates who will help you obtain lice shampoo and use it properly.
School nurses will assist you in checking or rechecking as you work to
remove nits and lice from your child's head. Just ask.
School nurses will not judge you or report you or tell others if you ask
for assistance dealing with head lice. We handle lice in a confidential
manner. We know that even the best families can catch them, and most of
us who are parents have been through it at least once ourselves!
American Academy of Pediatricshttp://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;110/3/638.pdf
School Of Public Healthhttp://www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html
for Disease Controlhttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/headlice/factsht_head_lice_treating.htm
above information was received from the following website: http://snp.homestead.com/contents.html