Proper hygiene is something parents ought to strive for, but even the cleanest heads have to worry about lice. There are around six to 12 million lice infestations among 3 to 11 year-olds every year in the United States. Lice thrive on clean heads, making special precautions necessary to prevent a lice outbreak.
The Biology of Lice
In order to successfully fight lice you must first understand their biology, environment, and temperament. By the time a person starts to feel the effects of a lice infestation, chances are they have already been bitten at least 10,000 times before the itching kicks in; this can be up to four weeks after the initial infestation. Statistically speaking, there are usually only around 10 live lice on a child’s head at a single time. Although an adult louse usually only lives for up to 30 days provided their is a readily available food source, their short lifespan is compensated by a high fertility rate as females can lay up to six eggs every day.
Preventing the Spread of Lice
Many people want to know how to treat lice and prevent their spread. As a general rule combs, brushes, towels, and other items placed in contact with hair should not be shared between multiple people. Generally, lice that are transferred onto non-human surfaces cannot live past a day, but these items should be disinfected by soaking them in hot water for five or ten minutes. Many lice treatment centers have professional lice removal procedures to help fight the infestation. There are new strains of lice present in around 25 states that are resistant to most traditional over-the-counter lice treatment options. Thankfully the experts are standing by to continue fighting the spread of lice.