Have a Healthier School Year!

By Leslie Moore

Have a Healthier School Year!

It’s time to send our Sasee kids back to school! Starting the school year is exciting and promises to be filled with new friends and activities. Catherine Collins of Coastal Lice Center has graciously agreed to help us navigate one of the less than desirable pests that our children may encounter in school this year.

Catherine, how many children areaffected by lice annually?

There are between 6-12 million children affected annually by lice.

In the past, there was a stigma attached to getting lice, but now we know better.

Yes, and unfortunately there is still a stigma associated with lice. Many feel that people get lice because they or their homes are dirty. This is not the case – anyone can get lice. Lice actually like clean hair best. These little pests do not discriminate! If you have blood in your body you can get lice.

School starts this month. How can we, as parents, protect our children from lice?

As I mentioned, ANYONE can get lice. There are three main ways to prevent your child from contracting lice. 1. Girls should wear their hair pulled up in a ponytail or bun. 2. Each morning, spray your child’s hair with mint spray because lice do not like the smell of mint. 3. Once a week comb your child’s hair with a GOOD lice comb. (Not the one that comes in the kit. The best is called the Nit Terminator Comb.) Combing will enable early detection which makes treating easier. It is also good practice to not share combs and brushes.  (Lice combs and mint spray, along with other products, may be purchased at our office.)

What are the first signs our child may have come in contact with these pesky bugs?

Often the first sign of lice is scratching, but actually only 50% of people who have lice itch. By the time you start itching you have probably already had it for a couple of weeks. This is why checking once a week is so important! Lice are hard to see, and usually we see the nits (eggs) before seeing the bugs.

What should parents do first when they suspect their children are infected?

CALL ME! Before any treatment you should be absolutely sure your child has lice. Also do not treat everyone in the family before confirming they have it. If you use an over the counter treatment, be sure to follow the directions, and do not overuse or leave the product on the hair longer than instructed. Do not go crazy cleaning your house! While some cleaning is necessary, lice do not live in the environment. They die within 24 hours of coming off your head, and the eggs are unable to hatch unless they are on a head.

Our slogan is “Be a friend; tell a friend!” Don’t worry about where you got lice, but do tell everyone with whom you or your child has been in contact. If these people don’t know they may have lice, they can spread it to others, including back to your child.

Contact Catherine atCoastal Lice Center, located at1203 48th Avenue North, Suite 118, Myrtle Beach, or call 84-421-7011.Find her on the web at www.CoastalLiceCenter.com or email info@CoastalLiceCenter.com.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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