Friday, October 27, 2017

6 Reassuring Facts About Lice That Every Parent Needs

It’s time we say the two little words that no parent wants to hear—flu season. The time of year when temperatures go down and the germ count goes up. Together, this dangerous duo makes nearly impossible for your child to avoid getting sick.

Now, for all those parents out there who know the flu-season drill, you’ve probably already stocked up on vitamin C, cough drops and tissues. Unfortunately, though, you may be overlooking one tiny thing—head lice.

Just thinking about lice can make the most level-headed parent feel overwhelmed—and itchy. Just remember, if your head starts to feel itchy while reading this, it doesn’t mean you have lice.

So, what is it about lice that makes it so revolting? Well, the many myths, stigmas and misinformation out there may have something to do with it. That isn’t to say that having lice is easy or fun, but it may not be quite as bad as what you’re imagining.

Let’s get the record straight with lice. Here are 6 reassuring facts about lice that you need in your life:

Contracting head lice is common. Head lice have been around for millions of years and it’s unlikely that they’ll disappear anytime soon. Outbreaks affect people all over the world, so if your child ends up getting them, you’re in good company.

Lice aren’t dangerous. While they may cause itching and difficulty sleeping, head lice are relatively harmless and cannot transmit disease.

Lice only move by crawling. They cannot jump, fly or swim. Unlike fleas, the only way to contract head lice is by having one hook onto your hair through physical contact. They are also very slow, most lice only move about four inches per minute.

Contracting lice has nothing to do with hygiene. While there is often a stigma associated with lice as resulting from poor hygiene, in reality they actually tend to prefer clean hair.

Pets cannot carry lice. Head lice have evolved to only thrive with a human host; pet blood is too warm for them. So you can continue cuddling with your furry companions guilt-free.

Lice cannot live alone in your home. While you may feel the need to disinfect every surface of your house after an outbreak, the reality is that head lice don’t live long without a human host to sustain them.

My child has lice, now what?

The first step is to remain calm. Lice can be controlled with medicated shampoo and a lice comb. While there are some medications available over the counter, a primary care provider can prescribe more efficient alternatives. At the new GMC Primary Care & Specialty Center-Suwanee you can work with knowledgeable experts who utilize the latest in treatment options to get rid of this pesky parasite—for good. That way, you can get back to enjoying time with your family without any involuntary itching.