One of the most harmful things about head lice is the wealth of misinformation that surrounds them. Parents are scared of them, kids are bullied because of them, and frankly, lice are a big nuisance. Here are some myths and facts to clear up any confusion you may have about pesky head lice.
MYTHS – BUSTED
Myth: Head lice jump from one head to another.
Fact: Lice cannot jump or fly. They crawl from one head to another, which is why they spread through head-to-head contact.
Myth: Only kids get lice
Fact: Anyone can get lice. Cuddly children can spread lice to their parents, grandparents, caregivers, and other adults they hug.
Myth: Kids get lice primarily at school
Fact: Kids can get lice whenever they are in close contact with other infested children, such as when they are at sleepovers, camps or sporting events.
Myth: If you have lice, your head will itch.
Fact: Itching is an allergic reaction to lice secretions. But not everyone has this allergy. You can have lice and have no itching. Itching can also take weeks to develop.
Myth: If you have lice you need to bag your stuffed animals for 2 weeks
Fact: Lice cannot live off a human head for longer than 48 hours. For peace of mind, just throw the stuffed animals into the dryer on high heat for a cycle.
Myth: You can get lice from your pets.
Fact: Human head lice do not live on animals. They are human parasites and live off human blood. Your pets cannot spread it to you and vice versa.
Myth: You can get lice from your couches, carpets, etc.
Fact: Again, head lice cannot live off a human head for longer than 48 hours. Most are dead within 15 hours. The risk of getting infested by a louse that has fallen onto a rug or carpet or furniture is extremely low.
Myth: You can treat lice using household products like mayo
Fact: While mayo could possibly clog up the airways on a louse’s body, it is not an effective method for getting rid of lice. Mayo also has no effect on the lice eggs, which will continue to hatch.
Myth: Head lice carry diseases.
Fact: Fact: Human head lice do not carry disease. They are a nuisance parasite, but not dangerous.
Myth: You get lice because you are dirty
Fact: As long as there is a scalp that a louse can feed on, it doesn’t care whether the hair is dirty or clean.
Lice Clinics of America has successfully treated more than 800,000 cases of head lice. The company has more than 265 clinics in 20 countries, making it the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers. Lice Clinics of America – Modesto is located at 937 Coffee Road, Suite 800, Modesto, CA 95355, and is open Monday to Saturday by appointment. Lice clinics of America – Stockton is located at 1625 March Lane, Suite 202, Stockton, CA 95207. Call 209-353-9240 or visit www.liceclinicsmodesto.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.