The return of children to school means an increase in busyness, illness, and the spread of germs. It also increases your child?s likeliness of obtaining head lice. Although there is not any reliable data on how many people get head lice each year in the United States, an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. among children 3 to 11 years of age, according to the CDC. Getting a note home about a lice infestation can be scary and anxiety producing. However, remember to remain calm and then begin the life removal process.
Thoroughly check every family member
Firstly, check the child that is showing itching symptoms, or the child that attends the school that you received the note from. Look for any signs of lice. If you are unsure, proceed with treatment anyways. You can also utilize the services and knowledge of your physician, who can help you correctly identify lice on your child. You will also need to check every family member. Lice tends to spread very quickly, making chances high that other members of your family also need to be treated.
Remove all bedding
Lice can live in and multiple in fabrics, including bedding, pillows, and stuffed animals. You will need to remove every bedding item and properly clean them. If anything is too large to be washed, considering spraying it or putting it into an air tight sealed bag for many weeks. To effectively get rid of lice, you will want to treat yourself last. You will be handling many lice infested materials and it could spread back to you.
Clean all hair materials
Lice eggs can live on hair brushes for many days. Never share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfect combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130 F) for 5 to 10 minutes. Any difficult to clean brushes or hair materials should be thrown out, to prevent spreading. Proper head lice removal requires thorough cleaning of every material the head has touch.
Properly clean all carpets
Carpets can also be breeding grounds for lice. The carpet will be the last thing you clean, ensuring that all blankets and other bedding are removed and cleaned. To get rid of lice in the carpets, you may need stronger lice specific products. However, most places that sell lice treatment products will also sell carpet and bedding cleaning supplies. A lice removal service can also clean all carpets and rugs professionally.
Reinspect every week, until completely gone
In some cases, it can take weeks, or even months, to completely get rid of lice. Most articles on how to treat lice fail to mention this. However, one mistake or one missed lice egg can increase the problem. As long as you continue inspections and treatment processes, you should be able to successfully get rid of lice in the house.
Notify family and friends
It is possible that your child spends time at a family member or friends house quite often. If they spread the lice to their house, and they are unaware, the child could get it again. A study amongst students revealed that up to 60% of those infested with head lice were unaware of it. Notify your family and friends of your lice infestation, and provide them with information on how to get rid of lice successfully. You should also inform the school that you dealt with a head lice case.
Many parents with children under the age of 10 have experienced at least one situation of head lice. Head lice spreads quickly and often infests many households at once. The proper cleaning process can successfully rid the house of the pesky head lice, but it can take a lot of cleaning. You will need to thoroughly clean all household items, including bedding, carpeting, and hair tools. You will also need to regularly inspect and treat other family members.