As common as head lice are, there is an abundance of persistent misunderstandings about them. (Many of these myths are as persistent as the lice themselves!) Here are some common myths about head lice and the facts behind the misconceptions.
Lice can jump.
Lice do not have wings. They cannot fly and they cannot jump. Instead, they move by crawling. That is why direct head-to-head contact, such as kids putting their heads together while playing, is the most common way for head lice to spread from one person to another.You are more likely to get head lice if your hair is dirty, you have bad personal hygiene habits or if your home is untidy.
Getting head lice has absolutely nothing to do with personal hygiene or the cleanliness of a home. And washing your hair will not get rid of lice, which cling to hair follicles, nor nits (lice eggs), which are extremely sticky and cling to hair.
An itchy head means your child most likely has head lice.
Itchy scalp is one of the common symptoms of head lice. But there can be other causes of itchy scalp, such as seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff) or dry skin. Moreover, some children who have head lice may not experience itching.
Head lice prefer long hair.
Lice do not care whether hair is short, long, clean or dirty. Lice thrive in hair, period, specifically on the blood they get through the scalp.
You can get head lice from pets (and vice versa).
Lice cannot be transmitted from pets, and pets cannot get them from people.
Head lice carry and transmit diseases.
The good news is that lice have not been shown to spread disease. That said, they can be extremely bothersome. Children who have head lice can experience intense itching and develop a rash from the bites, and the skin can become infected from scratching. They can feel irritable and have trouble sleeping because they are itchy. And of course, lice can be emotionally upsetting for a child and for her family.
To kill the lice, you must stuff all your child’s belongings in plastic bags, and put them in a freezer or leave them in the bags for several weeks.
This used to be the recommendation years ago, but it is understood today that lice do not survive very long away from a host. The best way to handle a lice infestation in your environment is to simply vacuum any items and areas you think your child may have rested her head on, wash her linens and towels with hot water and put them in a hot dryer to kill any lice or nits. You can also place combs, brushes & hair ties in the freezer for 24 hours.
Kids are most likely to get head lice in school.
This is a common misconception, probably stemming from the fact that school-age children are at an increased risk for getting head lice. The fact is, kids tend to get head lice from places and activities where they are more likely to have direct head-to-head contact . The most common sources of head lice infestations are, in addition to school, camp, daycare, slumber parties and sports activities, among others.
Head lice are extremely contagious and children who are diagnosed with head lice should be isolated until all the nits are gone.
The truth is that lice are most frequently spread through head-to-head contact, which allows the lice to travel from one person to another. Using Prevention products and properly removing lice & nits using Meticulice Elimination Kit is recommended.
Meticulice offers a non toxic removal kit that is safe and effective for Children & adults.
The truth is that parents must be cautious when using products that contain permethrin or pyrethrins that are touted as being “safe” to treat their child’s head lice. Many products that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may contain ingredients such as certain pyrethroids that are not recommended for use on young children.
Side Effects of Pyrethroids Inhalation: coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny or stuffy nose, chest pain, or difficulty breathing.in contact: rash, itching, or blisters.
Long term effects: disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone, estrogen, thus causing excessive estrogen levels in females. In human males, its estrogenizing (feminizing) effects include lowered sperm counts. In both, it can lead to the abnormal growth of breast tissue, leading to development of breasts in males and cancerous breast tissue in both male and females.
Neurotoxic effects include: tremors, incoordination, elevated body temperature, increased aggressive behavior, and disruption of learning. Laboratory tests suggest that permethrin is more acutely toxic to children than to adults.