Useful Gadgets For Home – Take the hard work out of head lice by avoiding these common mistakes
Bloodsucking head lice are more of threat to a parent’s state of mind than their children’s health.But this doesn’t make finding an effective way to deal with them any less important.The anxiety parents feel when they find these creatures in their kid’s hair has created a market for all kinds of products that zap, vacuum…
Bloodsucking head lice are more of threat to a parent’s state of mind than their children’s health.
But this doesn’t make finding an effective way to deal with them any less important.
The anxiety parents feel when they find these creatures in their kid’s hair has created a market for all kinds of products that zap, vacuum or poison lice. And yet they remain a perennial problem.
Here are seven myths about head lice that are completely wrong! Plus expert advice on what works best in dealing with them.
Myth 1: Head lice spread disease and are a sign of child neglect or poor hygiene
Head lice don’t spread disease like some insects.
“These aren’t a major health concern,” says medical entomologist Cameron Webb of the NSW Department of Health.
“Really, the major health problem associated with head lice is the anxiety and stress that it can cause the parents or carers of children that are infested,” Dr Webb says.
“I absolutely understand what it’s like when you find out your children are carrying an insect that is feeding on their blood.”
He says the worst physical impact from head lice is they can make you itch, but this doesn’t happen to everyone.
“A lot of people don’t even know they have head lice — that’s how little impact they have.”
Another myth is that head lice are more likely to infest dirty messy hair than clean neat hair but actually there’s no evidence to support this.
Myth 2: You need to clean bedding, towels and clothes when you treat for head lice
Head lice do not crawl, jump, fly or swim and are “pretty fragile” once they get off your head, Dr Webb says.
They are designed for scuttling up shafts of hair not lingering around on bedding, hats, towels or classroom desks.
The only way you can catch head lice is by direct hair contact. That’s why primary school students, especially those with long hair, are more likely to catch lice — they love crowding around smartphones, tablets or books together.
When it comes to treatment, focus on the hair not the house.
Australian health authorities prefer the conditioner and comb method, which involves smothering and stunning the lice in a thick layer of conditioner (used without water) then combing them out with a lice comb.
Eggs are likely to remain cemented to the base of the hair shaft so, you also need to repeat later to catch the new lice that hatch from the eggs.