Any parent dreads the prospect of a child of theirs getting a head lice infestation. Head lice attach their eggs, or nits, to the hair shaft, so anyone with hair that’s a quarter-inch long or longer can get head lice. They are particularly common among children. This is generally due to the way they are spread from person to person.
What Are Head Lice, and How Do They Spread?
This type of lice is a parasitic insect that lives on the human head. They are about the size of a sesame seed and range in color from yellowish to tan. Their nits tend to be yellow or white in color and are very tiny. They like the warm, moist area on top of our head, and they feed on the blood underneath the scalp.
Fortunately, head lice cannot jump or fly. For this reason, the primary means by which lice spread is through direct head-to-head contact. This is why head lice outbreaks are particularly common among children. They are always bumping heads while playing or posing with their heads together to take that selfie. Sharing items worn or used on the head that belong to someone with lice is another, less common, means of transmission. This would include hats, helmets, hairbrushes and various hair accessories.
What Are the Chances of Getting Head Lice?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 6 to 12 million lice infestations occur each year in the United States, and this is the number of infestations in children between the ages of 3 and 11. This represents a significant enough chance of getting an infestation that parents should be aware of the problem.
Thankfully, head lice are not known to be carriers of disease. Because of this, they are not considered dangerous. That said, they are still a nuisance. They can cause red, itchy patches on the scalp, which your child can scratch incessantly, and this can lead to open sores or bleeding.
Are African-American Children Less at Risk?
One common question about lice is whether certain populations are more or less prone to getting afflicted by lice. As a general rule, they are equal-opportunity parasites. They’ll crawl around the heads of kids with blond, black or brown hair and generally make nuisances of themselves. They will also strike kids in any socioeconomic group. That being said, there is a particular question about head lice and African-American kids.
There is a myth that African-American children can’t get lice. It does seem to be true that African-American children are a little less likely to get a lice infestation. Some have speculated that the cultural reason of a greater use of oils in the African-American community may have something to do with this. However, it is currently seen as more likely that it’s due to a difference in the shape of their hair shaft.
If nothing else, lice have shown that they are adaptable over time. For example, most of them have adapted to the common treatments traditionally used to rid people of these pests. Along this line, some have now adapted their claws to be able to readily grasp African-American hair. Despite this lower chance of infestation, however, there are still plenty of cases of head lice in African-American children. So, if you are African-American and see your child scratching their head incessantly or any other symptoms, don’t rule them out as a potential cause.
What to Do If Your Child Has Head Lice
The first question any parent has when they discover their child has head lice is to wonder who they caught it from. The second one will be what to do about it. As mentioned, many head lice have adapted to most of the common treatments for them. This includes over-the-counter remedies, such as Nix and Rid, as well as treatments prescribed by doctors. Home remedies have never been all that effective, which leaves parents of all races in a bind as to what to do.
Lice Lifters Can Help
However your child caught head lice, your first priority is getting rid of them. Many parents are embarrassed when they find out their child contracted a lice infestation. You shouldn’t be. They don’t care about your child’s hygiene, habits, neighborhood, who they hang around with or anything else. While it may be a little harder for some of them to attach themselves to African-American hair, they also don’t care about race. If they can find a way to crawl along your child’s hair shaft and attach nits to it, they will do so.
Lice Lifters has been offering a 100 percent safe and all-natural solution to the problem of head lice for some time now. It works on all types of lice and all types of hair. Unlike OTC and prescription treatments that they’ve adapted to, Lice Lifters’ treatment works 100 percent of the time. If you have discovered your child has head lice, please give Lice Lifters a call. We’ll schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience, and we have a treatment plan that will get your whole family free of these buggers.