Although head lice are a common problem among all school children, with approximately 1 in 10 kids getting head lice every year, there are rumors and myths being spread about them constantly. As professionals, we want to clear up some of the most popular myths so you can rest assured:
- Head lice prefer dirty hair. Lice are non-discriminatory when it comes to hair cleanliness. They simply require any human hair, whether squeaky clean or completely greasy. Lice feed on tiny bits of human blood, and the hair is just a place where they hang on. Also, washing your hair repeatedly as a way to get rid of the lice will not work. They can withstand being submerged in water for hours and have a pretty firm hold on the hair follicle.
- You must clean everything to get rid of lice. This is a common myth that has everyone frantically running around, cleaning their home from top to bottom, washing and rewashing their linens. Lice can only live removed from the human head for 48 hours or less, so only the items that have come into contact with persons’ heads will need to be cleaned. Items to clean include the infected person’s bedding, hairbrushes/combs, stuffed animals on the bed, and any hats, scarves or helmets worn recently.
- Pets can carry lice. Have no fear, your pets do NOT carry head lice. Lice are a human parasite and only survive on human blood. While it may be a good idea to avoid rubbing heads with Fluffy, there is no reason to treat your pet or be concerned about them having head lice.
- Lice prefer long hair. This is a very common myth associated with head lice. So many people have chopped or shaved hair off of their children’s head when confronted with head lice, but the sneaky parasite can live on hair as short as 0.1 inch! They like to hang out as close to the scalp as possible, so go ahead and keep your locks as long or as short as you like.
- Head lice can jump from one person to another. Contrary to how it appears, lice cannot jump, nor do they have wings! They can only crawl, which is why they are passed through direct contact. This is one of the reasons why avoiding direct contact with another’s hair or head is the best way to protect yourself from getting head lice.
Also, keep in mind that lice are harmless creatures. Although quite a nuisance and unpleasant, head lice present no physical danger to you or your child. If you need to be checked or treated for head lice, come to the health care professionals at Pediatric Hair Solutions. Our treatment is non-toxic, kid-safe, and effective!