How to Handle Head Lice During COVID-19
Dealing with a case of head lice is never an easy proposition for families but add in the new complications caused by COVID-19 like social distancing and closed businesses, managing a typical case of head lice can become a total nightmare. Head lice is a communicable disease and like any other disease and you’ll want to be treated by medical professionals. However, it’s not always easy to see a healthcare professional when there is a shelter-in-place order or if your family is self-isolating. Here’s a guide on steps you can take if you suspect someone at home has head lice.
Know the Symptoms of Lice
First things first, how do you know if you have head lice? Here’s what to look for:
– Head lice are most commonly found near the scalp, behind the ears and neckline
– You may find an adult louse or baby (nymph) on the scalp or hair but they move quite fast.
– If you have lice, you will have nits/eggs on your hair. Nits are usually found within 1/2 inch of the scalp. They are small, teardrop-shaped eggs that are white to yellow in color.
– The darker your hair, the lighter the nits will appear.
– Nits are essentially “glued” to the hair. They will not move without being pulled with some force with your fingernails.
– Dandruff or debris will not be stuck on the hair and will move if you brush or blow on it.
– Only 50% of people with head lice experience itching, so if you suspect your child has been exposed to head lice, it’s best to check them rather than wait for them to start to itch.
You Think It Could Be Lice. Now What?
Don’t panic. Even though our clinics are not open to patients, we are still here for you. We are now offering virtual appointments with our licensed healthcare professionals to anyone in the United States. If you find evidence of head lice, we recommend that you schedule a virtual consultation with a nurse to begin your lice treatment today.
How do I schedule a virtual appointment with a nurse?
Go to our Virtual Appointment Page and click on the blue “Schedule a Virtual Consultation Now” button where you will be given several time slots to choose from.
What will happen during the virtual appointment?
You will speak directly to a licensed nurse via video conferencing who will be able to determine if head lice is present. We will answer any and all of your questions about how to treat head lice. If head lice is confirmed, we will review next steps such as how to use our home treatment solution, how to ensure the lice are eradicated, and what steps you can take in your home to stop any reinfestation.
Watch this video to hear directly from our founder and president, Sheila Fassler, RN, BSN, to learn more about our virtual visits and what you can do to manage a lice outbreak during COVID-19.
What treatment solutions are available?
Pediatric Hair Solutions offers a safe, effective, non-toxic home treatment kit, which includes Egg Removal Foam, a Stainless-Steel Comb, and two bottles of our non-toxic Lice Treatment Solution. We are offering our home treatment kits at 10% off during the COVID 19 crisis and will give you all the tools and information you need to complete the process. Click here to see more. **It’s important to note that you will need to set aside some time each day (per child) for the next two to three weeks in order to eradicate the problem as even one missed egg will start the infestation over again.**
Steps to take at home
While it’s not necessary to hire a professional cleaning service or deep-clean your house
yourself, there are a few things you should do to prevent further infestation.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Also, remember that head lice do not “live” in the home environment and do not jump or fly, and they do not ‘burrow’ in bedding, so it’s very unlikely that your entire home is infested. 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. And don’t worry about Fido – pets cannot get lice.
To find out more, please click here and submit a contact form and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible. Please stay home, stay safe and stay healthy!