Every year, 6 to 12 million American children will acquire head lice. Head lice are most common in young children but can also be carried by teenagers and adults. If you or your children have head lice, there are a number of important things to know about them. Listed below are 10 reassuring thoughts about head lice.
1. Come from Head-to-Head Contact
Head lice don’t spread that easily unless children touch heads together or share something such as a hat. Over 90% of head lice cases are caused by head-to-head contact.
2. It is Common
You may hear about head lice at school, or from one of your neighbors, it happens to many people. In America, there are over 70 million children and 6-12 million will get lice each year. This means that around 10% of children will get head lice at least once.
3. Not A Hygiene Issue
There is a long-time myth that people who get head lice are those who don’t have proper hygiene habits. In reality, hygiene has very little to do with your chances of getting head lice. As mentioned, head lice almost always come from head-to-head contact.
4. Pets Don’t Carry Lice
Pets cannot really spread lice to humans. Dogs commonly carry fleas, but not lice. Lice specifically need human blood in order to reproduce.
5. They Can Be Prevented
If you don’t already have lice, there are ways to prevent getting them. The best way to prevent getting lice is to educate your family on how they spread. If children don’t share hats or touch heads, they are unlikely to get lice
6. Not Dangerous
Head lice cause your scalp to become itchy but do not really play a role in spreading disease. Head lice can be quite annoying once you have them but they do not pose a threat to you or your family’s health.
7. Simple Removal Options
Once you or someone in your family have lice, there are few simple removal options. Some think that lice are near impossible to get rid of but if removal is done correctly, they can be quite simple to eradicate. If you are unsure of how to remove lice, there are numerous lice treatment centers in most cities.
8. Don’t Last Long
The overall life cycle is around 30 days for lice, but they cannot survive longer than 24 hours away from a human host. Usual treatment options usually go for 2-3 weeks to ensure that all the lice have been killed off.
9. Lice Cannot Live in Your Clothes
As mentioned, lice cannot live more than 24 hours away from their host. Therefore, lice can’t live and reproduce in a person’s home or clothes. Lice are only commonly found in hats because many people wear the same hat every day.
10. They Can’t Jump or Swim
One last reassuring thought about headlice is that they cannot jump or swim. As mentioned most cases come from head-to-head contact. So even if you are near someone who has lice, you do not need to worry about the lice jumping on to you.
Overall, lice can be quite annoying, but they are not as bad as some people think. Keep in mind the listed facts about lice if you or someone you know encounters them.