What's Going Around | Lice

Children wearing backpacks.
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It doesn't matter if your hair is clean or dirty, head lice can become anyone's unexpected guest. And with kids going back to school, chances are those critters may find a way to crawl into your house. AdventHealth Centra Care physicians have seen an increase in the number of patients with lice.

What Parents Need to Know

If you do receive that dreaded note from school, it's important not to panic. Instead follow these simple steps:

  1. Wash clothing and bed linens that were used 2 days before your little one was diagnosed.
  2. Soak personal items like combs, brushes and hair accessories in hot water for 5-10 minutes or place in freezer overnight.
  3. Anything that can't be washed or replaced (like stuffed animals), seal in plastic bags for about 2 weeks.

Dogs, cats, and other domestic animals can't catch or transmit head lice. Therefore, there's no need to clean or quarantine your pets. From olive oil or vinegar, to mayo (yes, mayo) - there are many natural remedy claims for getting rid of lice. The battle of lice is frustrating for parents, so visit your closest Centra Care or physician who can recommend prescription medication or an over-the-counter treatment.

To prevent a lice infestation in the first place, remind little ones not to share hats, brushes or other personal items. Even direct head-to-head contact from hugging or device sharing can spread lice. So it may be helpful to show the love with a fist bump instead.

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