Head Lice And Diagnosing The Problem
The head louse is a wingless insect that lives on the human scalp and feeds exclusively on human blood. It has lived with us for thousands of years as a species, and most of us have experienced the frustration of having them as parasites at some point in our lives, most often when we were children, when we were most susceptible to being infected. Every year, between six and twelve million Americans deal with having head lice or body lice.
The diagnosis of head lice is relatively straight forward. You can look for lice bites or the presence of shiny white eggs in the hair, but the best way to determine if somebody has head lice is to comb their hair thoroughly with a lice comb and then examine the comb afterwards for the presence of lice.
If you are worried about head lice in your child please check their heads on a regular basis. That is the best way to prevent the problem. Schools in the United States generally have a policy that states that a child with head lice must remain at home until the problem has been cleared up.
This can prevent children from passing them on, but sometimes lice are not discovered from a long time, and the child could have passed them on, so it's important to check your own child regularly, especially if they are between the ages of four and twelve.
To prevent nits, it can also be beneficial for your children to have short hair. If you know your child is infested with lice is important to wash all bed clothes and towels regularly and not to send your child to school; where he or she might contaminate others. The most obvious and immediate sign that your child has nits, is if your child is scratching their head or scalp constantly.
Luckily there are several viable options for treating lice in children and adults. There are silicone-based lotions and herbal lotions. The application of heat will also work. While any of these methods will work, they are not one hundred percent successful on the first application of treatment. That is why following the full course of treatment is very important in order to prevent relapses.
Between six and twelve million people in the U.S. alone struggle with infestations of head lice and body lice each year. Lice date back to ancient times, and they have lived as parasites on our bodies and scalps ever since. An adult louse has no wings, so when he finds a head to live on, he's there to stay. His only food is human blood. Most schools in the United States have a no nit policy which means that children with lice are dismissed from class until the problem is dealt with and all lice have been removed.
Published February 16th, 2008