CanadianNanny.ca founder and child care expert, Martha Scully, recently had the opportunity to ask head lice expert and Lice Squad.com founder Dawn Mucci some important questions parents and caregivers have about preventing and treating head lice in children.
Q & A with Head Lice Expert and Lice Squad Founder and Spokesperson Dawn Mucci
by Martha Scully
If a caregiver or parent thinks a child has lice how can they properly check?
“Head lice lay their eggs in the hot spots, these are around the ears, nape of the neck and crown of the head.”
How do children get the lice?
Children get head lice mainly from head to head contact. Less direct methods are hair to item contact such as sharing brushes and hats. Lice Squad.com has a free head lice identification app where we can diagnose in real time.”
Can lice jump from child to child?
No. They can only crawl.
So can you get lice from sharing hats or pillows?
“Yes but these are less indirect methods. The good news is head lice will die within 24 to 48 hours without a blood meal.”
If a child has lice does it mean the child’s hair is not clean?
“Absolutely NOT! Lice are attracted to clean hair and the longer and thicker the hair the more likely you will be to get lice.”
Should a nanny be caring for a child with Lice?
“Yes. There is no need to panic. Lice can only be transferred from head to head contact. Avoid this and you should be fine. In the case of less direct methods like sharing hair items or putting your head on an area where others heads have been. Simply avoid this too.”
Can you have lice eggs/nits but no live lice?
“Yes, if you killed all the lice with a topical treatment the eggs will always remain and must be painstakingly removed. Alternatively, a female may crawl onto a head, lay a few eggs and move on. In both cases regular checking is key.
New innovation in head lice that use minerals (HDM20) that have high PH actually dehydrate lice eggs. In all cases, reduction combing to remove dead or viable lice eggs is required.”
How long should a child with lice stay home from school or daycare?
“I would only keep kids home for as long as they are communicable. Similar to a cold or flu. No need to miss more than a day or two. Remember if you send your child to school with lice they could spread it and all the work you do to get rid of it could be in vain if their classmate or playmate gives it back to them in a week or two.”
How can I prevent other family members from getting lice?
“Avoid head to head or hair to item contact. Use a preventative product such as Lice Squad’s Hair Relief which uses essential oils found in nature to scent the hair.”
As a preventative method does washing the hair help?
“No and not washing does not help either. Avoiding head to head and hair to item contact is best.”
Should the parent cut the child’s hair to get rid of the lice?
“No, it is not necessary. A good quality lice comb will do the trick and should be in the medicine cabinet of every parent. A quality comb has long micro-grooved tines and will cost between $20 to $30 dollars. Cheap knock off combs and impostors are not effective and may look alike but they will pass over nits as the tolerances between the tines are not accurate. I recommend The Louse Trap comb from Lice Squad.com”
Can lice live off the head? What can I do to get rid of them?
“No. They die within 24 to 48 hours without a blood meal. Lice Squad.com has a free head lice help kit which also includes environmental care. Simply vacuuming surfaces and drying in high heat are effective. Enzyme environmental sprays also help.”
What can I do to get rid of them? Any home remedies? What products actually work?
Read my top 5 chemical-free tips to cure super lice for more information on the following home remedies to get rid of head lice:
- Enzymes and minerals
- Reduction combing
- Oil soaks to smother lice
- Essential oils
- Avoid head to head and head to item contact
Follow Dawn on Twitter and visit her website: LiceSquad.com for more information on the treatment and removal of head lice.
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