How to Prevent Head Lice and Still Snap Selfies
Summer is here and for most Portland students, parents are scrambling to find ways to keep their kids busy amidst busy work schedules. And many of them definitely do now even think about lice or how to prevent head lice from spreading to their children.
But whether these activities include summer camp or regular playdates, children are more likely to come in close proximity with other kids who may be experiencing a lice infestation. Recently, a new culprit has been discovered in aiding the spread of head lice…
How Selfies Spread Lice
Expanding technology has led more people to have smartphones, including young children. The New York Daily News reports that an increase of selfies taken by teens is causing a rapid rise in head lice cases.
“People are doing selfies like every day, as opposed to going to photo booths years and years ago. So you’re probably having much more contact with other people’s heads,” says Wisconsin pediatrician Dr. Sharon Rink.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that head-to-head contact is the main source of the spread of head lice, which is common when teens attempt to fit multiple people in a selfie. Claire Roberts, the CEO of Lice Clinics of America told Women’s Health,
“When your head touches someone else’s for a selfie, lice can crawl into your hair from their head, using their nasty little claws to grab onto your hair strands.”
Physical contact with an individual who has lice is the only way the infestation spreads because the bugs do not fly or jump. Most often this occurs by direct head-to-head contact, however, sharing hats or hair accessories or sleeping in close proximity can also cause an infestation.
“The primary way you can get head lice is when your head comes in direct contact with the head of an infested individual,” Roberts said. “Head-to-head contact like that doesn’t guarantee that the infestation will spread, but it gives lice the best opportunity to move from the hair of the infested person to your hair.”
Prevent Head Lice from Spreading to Your Teen
Typically, younger children experience an increased chance of lice outbreaks because they share clothing and sleep close together more often than older children. However, with selfies being as popular as they are, teenagers are more susceptible to be in close contact with individuals who have lice.
But we get it.
Selfies are fun and we aren’t going to stop taking them anytime soon. So in the meantime there are steps parents can take to prevent head lice from spreading to their families.
- Continually sterilizing shared brushes and combs by soaking them in boiling water.
- Putting suspected clothing, hats, bed linens, etc in the dryer on high heat for 20 minutes.
- Use lice prevention products such as shampoos, conditioners, and sprays.
- Store soft toys like stuffed animals in air tight plastic bags
When Lice Prevention Fails
While there are ways to avoid the spread of lice, sometimes lice still find a way to infect children. What is the most effective way to get rid of lice once you are infested?
Lice Clinics of America is the largest network of lice clinics, offering patented, FDA-cleared technology to over 230 clinics worldwide.
How does the device work?
The AirAllè uses controlled heated air to kill live lice and 99.2% of their eggs, allowing children to leave the clinic lice-free in under 90 minutes.
Our new clinic is located at 5201 SW WESTGATE DRIVE SUITE 106 Portland, Oregon 97221.
According to a study in the Journal of Medical Entomology, lice have become immune to chemicals in most commonly sold products. The AirAllé device has successfully treated over 200,000 cases of head lice and continues to offer a solution for parents who have spent weeks tirelessly battling infestation.