While it is hard to get reliable and accurate date of exactly how many people have problems with head lice every year but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that anywhere between six and 12 million people experience infestations every year. The people who are most often affected at children who are between three and 11 years old. If you have one child with lice and you have more than one child, if any become infested with lice 80% of the time they will pass the problem on to their siblings. Getting rid of lice is a a problem for parents across the country.
- Know the symptoms of a lice infestation. When you are concerned that your child or children may have become infested with lice, there are signs and symptoms that you can look for. They can be found on hair on the body and scalp. The first thing that you will see when there is a problem with lice is the bites they leave on the skin. Lice live by eating blood. They need to penetrate the skin to get the blood that they need. The bites they leave behind can be very itchy and uncomfortable. The saliva produced by lice causes the itching. When you look at an area that has been bitten by lice, you can see small bite marks. They will be either brown or grey in color. Lice can also leave small wounds that appear to be bloody. One problem that some people with lice have is the bites can become infected. The first step in getting rid of lice is knowing they are present so getting to know the symptoms is a good first step.
- Know what to look for. When people have lice, they frequently have small nits in their hair. They can look a lot like particles of dandruff. The nits are small and white. Unlike dandruff, nits from lice are very hard to get off of your hair. If you find small, white particles that you have trouble removing from your child’s hair, it may be a lice infestation. These can lead to infections and problems with bacteria. The secondary problems with lice are more reasons to work on getting rid of lice.
- Look for lice eggs on your clothes. If there are lice on body hair, they will leave eggs on clothing. If you suspect this is a problem for your kids, you should look in the seams of their clothing. If you think there may be body lice on your child, you should look for the same kinds of bites you might find on their scalp. Problems with itching and the presence of nits are also signs that there are nits.
- Check for lice regularly. Schools and camps will often let parents know when there has been a case of head lice. If you get a message from the school, camp or other parents, you should do what you can to check for the pests. Take a white towel and drape it over their shoulders and neck. Take the hair and comb it into sections. Use a lice comb to go through the hair and look for lice. They will be dark or grey. If you find the pests you will have to look into getting rid of lice with professional lice removal treatments.
- Learn how to prevent lice. Not all cases of lice infestation can be prevented and there are a lot of treatments for lice. One way to avoid needing a lice removal service is to make sure your children do not share their brushes, combs or towels with other children at school or camp. It is important to keep them from sharing these items all of the time because there are a lot of times when kids have a lice infestation without knowing it.
It does not take very much to spread head lice. It has been estimated that a child with a lice infestation only has about ten live bugs on their head. A full 60% of children do not know they have lice at all. Knowing the signs and symptoms is the best way to deal with head lice.