As a parent, there are few things more annoying than lice. You spend all this time and money trying to prevent them, only for your child to catch them anyway. And then, you have to deal with the tedious process of getting rid of them (ugh).
But why does it seem like some kids are more prone to lice than others? And what can you do about it?
The Science Behind Lice
Let's start with the basics: What even is lice? Lice are tiny insects that live in human hair and feed on blood from the scalp. They're highly contagious and spread easily through direct contact.
The three main types of lice are:
- Head lice
- Body lice
- Pubic lice
Fortunately, head lice is by far the most common in children.
So Why Is My Kid Always Getting Them?!
It's true that some kids seem to get head lice repeatedly while others never do. But contrary to popular belief (everybody knows something bad about everything), this doesn't necessarily mean your kid is dirty or careless.
Here are some possible reasons why your daughter might be more susceptible:
1. Hair Length
Unfortunately for long-haired ladies (and gentlemen!), having longer hair can actually make it easier for head lice to...move into town (i.e., colonize). Longer strands provide more surface area for those pesky critters to lay their eggs.
2. Sharing Is Not Always Caring
Kids love nothing more than sharing snacks and toys with their buddies...but when it comes to hairbrushes, hats and helmets - hands off!
Head-to-head contact isn't always necessary for transmitting headlice; they don’t mind hitchhiking on any shared item used on affected heads such as combs, brushes, hair accessories or helmets.
3. Unfortunate Genetics
Yep, it's possible that your child has simply inherited a genetic predisposition to head lice (guess they finally found the glitch!). Experts believe there may be certain proteins in scalp oils that attract lice.
We know what you are thinking - "How could I prevent something that is supposed to happen?!".
Of course, prevention plays an important role in minimizing outbreaks and reducing transmission rates flowing from scalp-to-head contact. Here are some tips:
1. Protective Styles for Girls with Long Hair
Braids and twists can help keep long hair under control,(it doesn't hurt if your little girl looks fabulous too) which reduces the chances of it coming into direct contact with another person’s affected head. This will also reduce the attractiveness factor for lice looking for places to lay their eggs by creating tighter seals over each strand gained through twisting multiple strands together.
2.Limit Bedtime Head-To-Head Contact
As cute as siblings cuddled up like peas in a pod seem; maybe separate pillows might do them most good when sleeping side-by-side so darling brother does not have access to that pretty afro popping on his sister’s other pillow!
This way everyone sleeps soundly with minimal movement during slumber time avoiding major bed disruptions caused by kids turning around frequently at night!
3.Avoid Sharing Items That Come Into Direct Contact With The Scalp
Sharing combs and hats is one of those things parents should avoid encouraging among children (whenever possible)! This provides relief whilst keeping pesky bugs away!.
Psst..for items like mattresses or car seats where “sharing” cannot be avoided but cleaning non-reusables such as bedding material regularly in hot water cycles can still go a long way towards preventing infestation spells.
The above examples go a long way towards reducing transmission of lice among kids. Although they cannot guarantee 100% prevention, in combination with other weapons - this increases the probability of keeping these minuscule blood suckers at bay.
Okay, so what if your daughter has already come down with a case of head lice? How do you get rid of them?
1. Over-the-Counter Treatments
There are countless shampoos and lotions available at the local pharmacy that effectively kill (hooray!) lice using insecticides such as pyrethrin or permethrin.
Be careful to read and follow all instructions carefully as some over-the-counter treatments may dry hair out badly which could cause major irritations for scalp types affected by extended application frequencies.
2. Comb Your Problems Out
Remember those tooth-combs used to separate spaghetti noodles apart?! Apply that method but on human hair consisting of small sections divided into clusters to further limit the spread/separation scope before applying shampoo/conditioner for instance.
The concept is simple; comb through each part completely paying extra attention to ‘onion-ring-like’ white eggs which cling tightly onto hairs near roots therefore not easily dislodged via traditional shaking-movements children can easily master..
In summary, use fingers gently whilst working downwards from root-level and alternating directions between strands ensuring all three surfaces (top/bottom/sides) are thoroughly assessed - this step can be time-consuming initially but pays off eventually!
3.Consider Professional Help
Some parents swear by enlisting professional services when dealing with persistent outbreaks (there ain't no shame in getting help). A professional will have more experience spotting headlice and their eggs and employing effective treatment techniques (i.e., machine-vaporization/nitpicking).
To Sum It Up!
So there you have it! Head lice can seem like an impossible riddle, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can protect your daughter and prevent recurrent infestations.
Remember (if nothing else) to:
- Avoid close head-to-head contact when practical.
- Don’t share combs/hair accessories or any other items in direct contact with an affected individual’s scalp
- Choose appropriate protective hairstyles when possible (you know this also means looking good)
Oh, and try not to despair too much – lice are a common problem and have been around for centuries. You're not alone!