Thursday, July 30, 2009
Head lice are the most common form of lice infestation. The Centers for Disease Control reports that six to 12 million people in the United States are infested each year. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about what to do if your child is exposed to lice in todayís 60 Second Housecall.
Parents should routinely check their children for head lice. Children between the ages of three and 12 are the most vulnerable.
Head lice attach themselves to the hair shaft, making them very difficult to remove. Adult lice are hard to spot, but the eggs, which are called nits, can be seen. Look for lice bites that cause tiny red spots and itchiness.
Teach your children not to share hairbrushes or combs, and to avoid trading hats. If you find lice or nits, keep your child at home until you have successfully removed every one. Anti-lice shampoos can be very effective but be sure to read and follow the directions carefully. Because some lice have developed strong resistance to even the most toxic anti-lice shampoos, it may be necessary to see a physician.
If your child is sent home from school with head lice, it doesnít mean that he or she is unclean. It simply means that he or she should stay away from school until the condition clears to prevent it from spreading.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.