Got lice? Here’s what to do next

What you feared the most has come true: you saw a live bug in your child’s hair. Freaking out? Don’t. A case of head lice happens to the best of us, and while it is highly contagious, it’s totally treatable. Here’s what to do when you get head lice (or someone in the family does):

1. Don’t panic. Lice IS treatable and not a cause for panic. A few things to keep in mind: lice infestation is on the head – not in the home. Lice can’t live without a human host for more than 48 hours, and they do not have “feet” and cannot travel on smooth, hard surfaces. Lice cannot jump or fly. Nits/eggs need to be in a warm, dark, moist place to incubate. Bottom line: you do NOT need to sell your house and move to a different state.

2. Call Pediatric Hair Solutions. Your first order of business is to kill the live bugs to prevent further infestation. Our treatment solution is safe and non-toxic and will kill all the live bugs. We will go over how to apply the solution and answer any questions you have. We can also talk about head lice removal options for the person infested, as well as the entire family. But, just take it one step at a time. Kill the live bugs first.

3. Dust off the vacuum cleaner and lint brush. You’ll want to vacuum the floors, carpets, couches, and upholstered chairs. Pay a lot of attention to the sofas and chairs where the child laid within the last 48 hours. You’ll also want to vacuum, or lint brush any upholstered car seats.

4. Get cozy with the dryer. Your dryer is your best friend. Sheets, towels, and linens that the child has slept on within the last 48 hours should be dried on high for 30-40 minutes. The same goes for comforters, quilts, pillows, clothing, and outerwear (including scarfs and hats in the winter months). Note: water does nothing, so you don’t need to wash everything unless you really want to add that step. A simple high-heat dry will kill any bug(s) that may have fallen off the head.

5. Make room in the freezer. All hairbrushes and accessories need to be placed in baggies and put in the freezer for 48 hours and then washed thoroughly in hot soapy water when removed. We recommend labeling these items in the future, so they are not shared.

For all of those things that can’t be placed in the freezer or dryer, isolation is the best method. Items such as decorative pillows, headphones, and delicate stuffed animals can be bagged for 48 hours. Bugs can’t survive longer without a host. Easy peasy!

Still panicking? Keep these head lice facts in mind:

– Head lice do not “live” in the home environment and do not jump or fly, and they do not ‘burrow’ in bedding. In the unlikely event they come off the head, they will die within 24-48 hours.
– Anyone can get lice. It has nothing to do with personal hygiene, ethnicity or age.
– Pets cannot get lice.
– Only 50% of people with head lice experience itching.

Pediatric Hair Solutions provides the safest and most effective treatment for head lice removal on the market today, delivered by medically trained professionals. Our non-toxic treatment solution kills all live bugs, and our heated air device dehydrates all nits. You’ll leave our treatment center lice free. Click here to view the location nearest you.