McKinney, TX – July 29, 2020 – Lice Clinics of America–McKinney, part of the 200 clinic Lice Clinics of America (LCA) network, reported their clinic saw an increase in lice treatments of 15 percent from April to May of this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Infestations of lice affecting entire families have been more severe during the pandemic, likely due to the fact that families have isolated at home together.
“We started noticing that instead of seeing a family of four with two members with lice,” says Amanda Westerman, owner of the McKinney clinic, “the whole family had lice and a heavy infestation. Home methods simply do not work.”
In order to ensure the safety of staff and clients, McKinney implemented a ‘one family at a time’ policy, along with pre-screening clients over the phone and making sure each staff member was properly equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE). “We’re making sure to disinfect between each family,” says Westerman. “We also take staff temperatures each morning.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Head-to-head contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Head-to-head contact is common during play at school, at home and elsewhere, such as sports activities, the playground, slumber parties, and camps.” The CDC estimates 6-12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. among children 3-11 years of age.
Dr. Krista Lauer, Medical Director of LCA states, “If you have children who are elementary and middle-school ages, it’s important to take some immediate steps to either prevent your children from being infested or to properly treat and kill the lice before they spread to others in your family and social group.”
Dr. Lauer says, “First, don’t panic, and second, don’t be embarrassed. A head lice infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene, or the cleanliness of your environment. In fact, with recent shelter-in-place orders, head lice infestations more easily spread to everyone in the household due to close proximity.”