Head lice is a very common occurrence in school-aged children. However, as prevalent as head lice can be, there are also plenty of myths and misconceptions that surround it – which Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician in Vancouver, outlines below.
The first sign that your child has head lice is usually constant itching of the scalp. As a result of that itching, they may have difficulty sleeping, and can also develop sores/scabs or a rash from itching too much.
Perhaps the most common misconception about head lice is that it has to do with one’s personal hygiene, how frequently or infrequently you wash your hair, and how clean your home is. However, this is not the case, as head lice has nothing to do with any of those things, nor will washing your hair help get rid of it. As mentioned, head lice is common school-aged children, though school is not the only place where head lice occurs. They’re also just as likely to develop it from sports activities, daycare, and by sharing personal items such as brushes and combs, other hair accessories, towels, and bedding – essentially anything that requires contact with the head.
While head lice doesn’t jump from person to person, it’s still easily contagious, therefore certain precautions should be made in order to prevent its transmission, such as avoiding personal items and keeping them out of school. For children with lice, Dr. Ali Ghahary will prescribe a solution that helps to kill the lice. This kind of solution gets rubbed into the scalp (dry hair) and rinsed out after a few minutes. If your child has already begun treatment for head lice, then keeping them out of school is not necessary.