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Having head lice doesn't have to be stressful; it's not your fault!

How to Break Lice News to Other Parents

Parents don’t like to talk about lice. That’s a shame, because communication is one of the most effective ways to prevent lice outbreaks. If you know that lice are present in a school, daycare or camp, you can take precautions to protect your own child from getting lice.

The best time to talk about lice is before an outbreak happens. Many healthcare providers recommend that parents develop a lice response plan within their school or parent group so that they are prepared for lice outbreaks and have an agreed-upon plan to react. This way the discussion about head lice happens when no one has them, and without that added emotional charge. A plan might include recommendations for how to check for lice and available resources for treatment, as well as ways to prevent head lice from spreading—avoiding head-to-head contact and the sharing of anything like hats, brushes and backpacks that contact hair.

If another parent tells you that their child has lice, thank them for telling you. It’s not easy, as the social stigma around head lice remains significant. Not talking about it makes it worse. The fact that someone informed you will help you protect your children. After thanking the parent, the best message you can send is that it’s not that big of a deal—because it’s not. Yes, dealing with head lice is inconvenient, but aside from that, the more you can do to counteract the stress and embarrassment parents feel, the better.

If your children have lice, let other parents know through the school or through your network of relationships. Remember—it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong. Your children aren’t dirty. They just “caught” lice from another healthy child, much as children catch colds from one another. Have the facts handy: Lice aren’t dangerous. Lice outbreaks are unrelated to hygiene (in fact lice prefer clean hair and scalps). Lice only spread from head to head (they don’t fly or live on animals—stuffed or live). You might want to share our blog, “It’s Time to Shed Light on Lice” to help educate other parents about head lice and to demystify the experience.

Another thing you can do to ease other parents’ concerns is let them know about a Lice Clinics of America’s professional, medically sound, one-and-done, guaranteed lice checking and removal service. Knowing that there is a fast, easy way to get rid of lice and eggs in a single treatment can relieve a lot of stress!

Want to get more specific? Here’s how a conversation might play out.

You: Hi , it’s me. Do you have a minute? There’s an issue with the girls.

BFF: Sure, what’s up?

You: Well, it seems that there is a bug going around, and my daughter caught it. I wanted to let you know because our girls spend so much time together.

BFF: Thanks. Sorry to hear that. What is it?

You: Well, this time is a literal bug. Head lice. At first I was freaked out and I didn’t want to tell anyone. But I sure wish someone had told me it was going around, and I thought that if we all get on top of it and get all the kids checked we can nip it in the bud.

BFF: Lice! OMG! That still happens?

You: Yeah, it’s a bummer. I’ve done some research. It happens a lot—6-12 million cases a year in the U.S. alone! But there are new ways to get rid of lice that only take an hour or so. And we have a clinic right here in town that can check the kids for lice and then treat them on the spot if need be. Peace of mind either way! I’ll send you the link.

BFF: Well, thanks for telling me. I’m a little freaked out but it might be easier if we work together!

Lice Removal Services Completed at Our Lice Treatment Center

How to Check for Head Lice

Head lice can be difficult to diagnose because they are difficult to see. Just because a child scratches his or her head doesn’t mean that head lice are present. An itchy scalp can also be caused by unusually dry skin, or conditions such as dandruff, eczema, or by an allergic reaction to a hair care product.

“Misdiagnosis of head lice infestation is common,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The diagnosis of head lice infestation is best made by finding a live nymph or adult louse on the scalp or hair of a person.”

One reason head lice can be difficult to find is because they are very small, blend in well with hair, and are usually near the base of hair strands close to the scalp. This can make it especially difficult to identify lice for children with long hair.

It’s important to know how to check for lice and to check frequently, so you are able to act and act quickly before an infestation spreads.

The best way to check for head lice is to wet your child’s hair. Use a bright light to spot the lice and a very fine-toothed comb for lice removal. There are specially designed lice combs available at most drugstores and supermarkets. Part the hair and shine the light near the scalp. Most lice live about a quarter of an inch from the scalp. That’s where the warmth and humidity of the human body is most hospitable. The best place to start is around the ears and the nape of the neck.

If your child has lice, you’ll see small brownish specks about the size of a sesame seed—they will likely be moving. Even if you don’t see lice, run the comb slowly through the hair from the scalp outward. Then dip it in a bowl of water and/or wipe with a white cloth or paper towel. If lice are present, you will see them in the water or on the towel.

Lice eggs, or nits, can be even more difficult to identify. They are even smaller, glued tightly to hair shafts, and are often indistinguishable from hair to the naked eye. It can be helpful to use a magnifying glass to look for small bumps on hair shafts—as if the hair shaft had been tied in a knot. A good louse comb will pull out both lice and nits.

The best way to stay ahead of lice infestations is to check your child regularly. Have a game plan ready if in fact you do find lice. There are new solutions available to treat head lice that are safe, fast, and convenient. Lice Clinics of America offers treatment using an FDA-cleared medical device that is clinically proven to remove live lice and 99.2 percent of eggs in about an hour. The AirAllé medical device dehydrates lice and eggs with carefully controlled warm air. Treatment is delivered by certified technicians that have been carefully trained to remove head lice.

There are more than 170 Lice Clinics of America clinics in the United States, and more than 120 clinics in 33 other countries around the world. For more information or to find a clinic, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.

Having head lice doesn't have to be stressful; it's not your fault!

It’s Not Your Fault.

One of the worst parts of head lice is having to reach out to other parents to tell them their children may have been exposed by your child.  The social stigma attached to lice is significant and stressful.  The best way to stop lice from spreading is by letting other parents know about it. Remember, telling them will protect their child and others around them.

Keep reminding yourself, “It’s not your fault!” Poor hygiene and subpar living conditions are not the culprits. Lice is as easy to catch as the common cold.  No amount of hair washing will stop a live louse from crawling onto your child’s head. Lice outbreaks are totally unrelated to hygiene.  In fact, they love clean hair and scalp. Lice are spread from head to head by direct contact.  Everyone loves a good group selfie! Lice don’t fly, jump or live on your furry family members.

As a parent, I have had to make this phone call more than a few times. Knowing that better treatment options are out there has eased the embarrassment over the years (along with a glass of wine or two).  So spread the word.  Lice Clinics of America-McKinney TX is here to help.  After one appointment (because we all have so much free time) you and your family are lice free! Just remember: it’s not your fault.  The head lice is the enemy here and we have found a way to defeat them.