Lice, hair and September. A bad combination that worries many parents before the imminent back to school. This insect, Phthiraptera scientific name, is usually transmitted between kids and stick to your scalp where they deposit their eggs and cause strong itching. There are different treatments to try this infestation or pediculosis, caused by these annoying insects. It is estimated that around 30% of children in Spain will suffer the “visit” of nits.
September is usually the most likely month for lice to spread inside the classroom as many children come with nits from summer, the beach, camps and swimming pools where they share towels, combs, hats or hair ties.
What are lice like?
They are tiny parasites. They do not exceed 3 millimeters, as a scale dandruff, and are grayish brown in color. They feed on Human blood and saliva when biting is what causes severe itching of the head to the children who suffer them. In addition, scratching the head can irritate the scalp and even cause a small bacterial infection that aggravates your discomfort.
Although lice are thought to fly, this is not true. They are transmitted by the direct head contact or by objects that are shared and that are infested.
That is why they are so contagious in classrooms, where children share many activities and where it is easier for them to spread.
Lice prefer girls and long hair
According to various studies, pediculosis affects more children between 3 and 11 years of age and girls are more likely to suffer from them. There is no known reason but the belief is that it is due to the length of the hair, according to the head of the Social Pediatrics Unit of the Niño Jesús University Children’s Hospital, the doctor. Jesús García Pérez.
Although there is a belief that dirty hair does not nest, this is not entirely true. Since, although they do adhere better to clean hair, poor hygiene can cause other infestations. So it is best to keep your hair clean.
How to prevent lice
The constant control and monitoring of the scalp of the little ones can help. Not so much to avoid contagion, obviously, but to try not to spread it throughout the head and cause a greater infestation or to transmit it within the family or to other children at school.
In the case of having knowledge that there are lice in the environment, they can be used specific repellants that are sold in the pharmacy, although experts advise not to abuse them as they can generate resistance when treating them later.
In addition, contact between the heads of the minors should be avoided and, of course, that they do not share the objects previously mentioned. Experts recommend inspecting clothing, towels, etc. and wash the infested child’s clothing at a temperature above 60 degrees.
Other recommendations to avoid its spread at home are:
Put the child’s toys and stuffed animals in an airtight bag for three days. Lice feed every four to six hours, so they will eventually starve to death.
Dip combs, brushes and hairpins in boiling water.
- Vacuum the whole house.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.