Follow These Tips to Prevent the Spread of Head Lice in Your “Pandemic Pod”!
For millions of families across the country, “back to school” will have a much different meaning this year. To prevent social isolation, some parents are forming in-person “micro-schools” or “pandemic pods” where small groups of students participate in a virtual learning experience with family members, friends, neighbors, or church groups. These pandemic pods, usually led by a parent or tutor, is a great way for children to benefit from in-person instruction without risking the spread of COVID they could encounter in larger groups of students.
While these smaller learning groups are more optimal for social distancing than a regular in-person school environment, students and parents must be mindful that the spread of head lice is still possible anytime you bring groups of children together. In fact, head lice is the second most common communicable disease next to the common cold! The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age (and that’s not including the number of adults or teenagers who contract it).
Here are some proactive steps to take to prevent and manage the spread of head lice in pandemic pods.
1. Create a Head Lice Policy or Agreement with Your Group
Head lice can show up unexpectedly at any time. Learn the facts about head lice and speak to members of your group to decide in advance what appropriate actions must be taken if a member of your pod develops head lice. We recommend having a professional conduct head checks early on and plan to perform a weekly head check on your child so that you detect lice early and avoid spreading it to others.
2. Avoid Behaviors and Habits That Allow Lice to Spread
Touching heads with a person who has head lice is the number one way it can transfer from one head to another. In fact, 97% of head lice is spread through direct head to head contact. Children in pandemic pods need to avoid hair-touching and other head-to-head activities like group huddles, hugging and whispering. If your child is going to take pictures to capture the memories, make sure those pictures do not include selfies.
3. Make a “No Share” List
Lice are most commonly spread through direct head to head contact. However, in rare cases they can spread through clothing, pillows, hair accessories, combs, brushes and hats. Here’s a list of items that your child should never share with other members of their pod:
X Bike Helmets
X Ponytail holders
4. Use Prevention Spray
Head lice have an acute sense of smell and do not like the scent of mint, rosemary and tea tree oil. We use a proprietary mint essential oil mix in our Preventive Lice Treatment Spray which is very effective at repelling lice. Our spray is not sticky and can be used every morning to keep lice away. We have a full 8 oz. bottle or travel size which is great for camp. Girls are also encouraged to wear their hair in tight buns and braids.
5. If A Child Gets Head Lice, Have a Lice Professional Treat It
As we mentioned earlier, regular head checks will go a very long way to help prevent a head lice outbreak in pandemic pods. Detecting a case early on will not only prevent the spread of lice to others, it will make treatment much easier. If you find head lice, notify the members of your pod immediately to help curtail the spread and seek treatment right away. At Pediatric Hair Solutions, we use a heated air medical device in conjunction with an easy-to-use, non-toxic pre-treatment and post-treatment you can do in the convenience of your own home. The combination of these three steps results in a 100% success rate in lice removal, and our patients love us for that.
With so much focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19, it’s easy to forget about the other diseases like head lice that spread quickly among groups. No matter what school option your family has chosen during the COVID-19 pandemic, be proactive and take steps to prevent the spread of head lice!
Head Lice Treatment By Medical Professionals
Pediatric Hair Solutions is your local, professional resource for head lice information and treatment. Our staff of healthcare professionals are committed to providing the safest and highest quality of care available. The treatments at Pediatric Hair Solutions have a greater than 99% effectiveness rate and we offer a 30 day 100% guarantee. You can view each of our treatment services here. To make an appointment or get more information, call 704-909-9414. If you do not live near one of our treatment centers, we recommend using our Home Treatment Kit.