Teen Head Lice and Selfies

Teen Head Lice and Selfies

The media coverage and hype about the increase in teen head lice due to taking selfies has certainly gotten head lice a lot of press over the past week. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 6-12 million cases of head lice each year, being most common among children 3-11 year olds. According to the CDC (www.cdc.gov), there is “no reliable data on how many people get head lice each year,” so how is the most common age known? A case of head lice is not even a reportable disease to the CDC.  If the CDC does not have reliable data, how can it dispute the estimations of head lice removal professionals treating head lice every day? The fact remains, there is no data backing up the increase in head lice among teens or that selfies are to blame.

Head Lice is spread most commonly by head to head or hair to hair contact and less commonly through objects like brushes, scarves, hats and pillows The CDC (cdc.gov) recommends “avoiding head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home, school and elsewhere” as a prevention method. Using this CDC prevention tip, theoretically selfies could be an avenue for teens to transmit head lice. A group of teens squeezing together to take a selfie can lead to head to head contact. None the less, this head lice media hype has led to an increase in head lice awareness for all ages.  Along with avoiding head to head contact, the CDC makes these recommendations:

Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms or hair accessories.

Do not share combs, brushes or towels.

Do not lie on beds, couches, pillow carpets or stuffed animals used by an infested person.

It is important to teach children of any age and adults how to prevent and control head lice.

For more information www.heartlandhealthyheads.com.

Head Lice Stigma: Let’s talk about Head Lice

It is not easy talking about head lice. The head lice stigma causes parents to shudder at the thought of confessing to family and friends that their child has head lice. Some will never tell and some will. Those that tell may be met with thankfulness or really be surprised when the reply is, “I know, we had it at our house a couples weeks ago.”  Then anger sets in, why didn’t anyone tell me it was going around????

Having head lice is common and can happen to anyone regardless of cleanliness or socioeconomic status.  Head lice is transmitted most by head to head contact and picked up unknowingly while children play and socialize. Parents that do not talk about head lice or blame others for their child’s infestation encourage the unending stigma associated with head lice. Yes, there is a certain ick factor, but really it is only head lice, not the plague.

Tips for talking about head lice:

  1. Don’t be embarrassed
  2. Be courteous, kind and understanding.
  3. Don’t be angry or insulting.
  4. Understand how head lice are transmitted and know the facts.
  5. Educate other parents about head lice.
  6. Educate you children about head lice.
  7. Don’t point fingers or blame others, teach your kids the same.
  8. Offer assistance or suggestions to families needing to be checked for head lice.
  9. Know the safest and most effective treatment options for head lice and tell others.
  10. Know how to prevent head lice and let everyone know the same.

Talking about head lice is the only way to end the stigma. If we end the stigma, then talking about head lice would not be so difficult. Talking about head lice aids in preventing head lice from spreading among social circles and lessens the chance of head lice spreading to your family or re-infesting your family. Don’t be embarrassed, be lice free!!!!

The Facts of Lice

The Facts of Lice

Getting the Facts of Lice can be difficult and frustrating, especially when you are in panic mode.  I often see frustrated Moms walk through the door of Heartland Healthy Heads, each one with a different story about how they have treated head lice and can’t seem to get rid of head lice.  While many treatment options exist understanding the facts of lice is important to overcome head lice. During treatment I often have time to talk with parents and kids and educate about the life cycle and present the facts. Here are some FACTS OF LICE:

  • Head Lice is also known as Pediculus Humanus Capitus
  • Head Lice love the scalp of all people. Any age, color, race, or economic background.
  • Head Lice are more common in girls than boys.
  • Head Lice survive by sucking blood from the human scalp only.
  • Lice actually prefer clean hair to dirty hair; it has nothing to do with being dirty.
  • Lice do not hop, jump or fly. They move around by crawling.
  • Head Lice is transmitted mostly through hair to hair contact.
  • They can also be spread by sharing hats, brushes, and combs.
  • They not only survive off the human head for 24 hours. They need to eat to survive.
  • Head Lice is very common, second to the common cold among children.
  • Head Lice multiply rapidly, prevention and early detection is important.

Prevention is key. They best way to prevent head lice is to have a good mint based spray or a lice repel spray and a good metal lice comb. Most have head lice for 3-4 weeks before they notice. Check for head lice one a week. Early detection makes treatment easier and decreases the number of individuals it could be passed onto. Don’t be embarrassed, Be a friend—Tell a friend. Head Lice can happen to anyone!!!!!

The Low Down on Head Lice

Everyone needs the low down on head lice. Understanding head lice is key to prevention and treatment. Head lice have been around since the beginning of time, nits have been found on Egyptian mummies, Cleopatra had a gold lice comb and Lice is mentioned as a plaque in the Bible. So when ask where they came from, my general response is they were here long before us and probably will be here long after us. I am fascinated by the survival instincts these tiny little creatures posses.

Head Lice are tiny wingless, six legged ectoparasites that live on the human scalp and feed off human blood. Lice need blood and a warm environment to survive. The human head full of hair makes a perfect host providing a warm environment. Favorite hot spots are behind the ears and at the nape of the neck. Only the bald are safe from head lice. Head Lice do not like your pets either, only humans.

Once on your head they multiply quickly, although have a relatively short life span, about 30 days.  After taking up residence on your head a fertilized female lays a pinhead size whitish or tan colored egg also known as a nit. The mother excretes a glue like substance attaching the nit to the hair, usually very close to the scalp where it is warm and cozy. The nits hatch in about a week and are called nymphs. These nymphs reach adulthood about a week later and are able to reproduce. Once fertilized the mother louse lays 4-5 eggs twice a day. Adults are 2-3 mm long. The family grows rapidly!

Head Lice are easily transmitted through head to head contact and are a common occurrence among school age children. According to the Center for Disease Control (cdc.gov) there are 6-12 million head lice cases in the United States among children ages 3-11 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics (aap.org) recommends that healthy children with head lice stay in school and avoid head to head contact with others. School policies vary, so know your school policy. When dealing with head lice be proactive, know the facts about head lice, talk about head lice and teach others about head lice. Don’t be embarrassed, be knowledgeable and proactive. Education is the best way to help others get past head lice. Yes, Lice are gross but it happens to the best of us and is a common occurrence. Remember there are worse things to have than head lice!!! Do I dare say things could be worse…? Remember to laugh and get a good lice comb!!!H

Any funny lice stories, please share them.

Holiday Head Lice Treatment

Parents often scramble to find an effective head lice treatment to be lice free by the Holiday. Holidays bring family members from far and near. Bad enough to think your child may have given it to someone you know or even gotten from someone you know, but how stressful to pass it to a cousin you have not seen since last Thanksgiving. Head Lice prevention and early treatment is key this time of year.

Tips for head lice prevention include:

  1. Avoid head to head contact. Remember head lice are transmitted through head to head contact.
  2. Keep hair tied back.
  3. Avoid sharing hats, scarves, brushes and hair accessories.
  4. Get a head lice repellent spray.
  5. Have good metal lice comb on hand and comb weekly to check for head lice.

Early head lice treatment is vital to containing the situation. If you treat early, it lessens the chance of spreading lice to others. Another prevention measure to avoid re-infestation is to let others you have had contact with for at least the past two weeks know they have been exposed to head lice. Encourage them to check for head lice and be treated as soon as possible. Many head lice treatments exist, but as the holidays approach this may be the time to ensure head lice is gone by calling head lice treatment experts.  Services like Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center can assist families during the holiday by providing a safe and effective treatment. Why stress over head lice?  Better to be on guard and prevent head lice or if needed get it treated early and effectively.Get past head lice and on to celebrating with family and friends. If you have been through head lice in the past you know one thing to be thankful for is a safe, effective and stress free treatment for head lice.

Super Lice Fact or of fiction

Well, all the buzz about super bugs or super lice is alarming to families dealing with head lice. The fact remains that research is showing super lice have stronger exoskeletons and the little bugs have even changed there egg laying habits to fool those trying to eradicate them with certain over the counter medications. Heartland Health Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center is now partnering with the University of Massachusetts to study the persistent little buggers. The University of Massachusetts is now researching head lice around the United States to see where and how prevalent resistance is to over the counter products.

If you choose to use an over the counter product like Rid or Nix be sure to follow instructions carefully and seek an alternative treatment if not effective. Treatment products may vary, but it still remains that combing and nitpicking is necessary to remove all nits (eggs). While nitpicking is a slow and tedious process the tiny super lice can not become immune to a good lice comb. Get a good lice comb and comb weekly to stay ahead of any lice infestation. Treating early is important and prevents transmission of lice to others. Patience, persistence and a good lice comb could be the only defense to stand the test of time. If you choose a professional lice removal service make sure they offer rechecks to ensure you are lice free.  Stay tuned for more research and tips on treating the resistant lice.


Lice Removal OutreachTravels to Guatemala Orphanage


Shepherd Institute Lice Removal Global Outreach Team

Shepherd Institute Lice Removal Global Outreach Team

Head Lice is a global phenomenon. While it does not usually cause any harm it is a pesky and irritating problem. Getting rid of head lice can take a toll on families emotionally, psychologically and financially. Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center is owned and operated by 2 sisters, Susan Truluck and Cherie Parker, who are certified in the Shepherd Method of Strand by Strand Nit Removal. Not only are they helping families locally by providing a safe and effective treatment option and educating the community about head lice, they have now participated in the Shepherd Institute Global Outreach. The Shepherd Institute is operated by Katie Shepherd, one of the world’s leading head lice experts, providing head lice removal certification, conducting clinical research on head lice products and traveling the world treating and teaching about head lice. Co-Owner, Cherie Parker just returned from the Prince of Peace Home for Girls in San Cristobal, Guatemala. Over 60 girls and staff were checked for head lice, 27 were treated and 12 older girls were educated on head lice removal to control head lice in the future. Just as in the United States most girls had been treated with over the counter products and could not get past the pesky little problem. Over the counter products, can be harmful, contain pesticides and are often ineffective in removing the lice eggs (nits), so families never really get past head lice. Heartland Healthy Heads is dedicated to providing head lice education. Education is the key to ending all the myths about head lice and reducing the stigma associated with having head lice.

Here are a few facts:

  • Head lice do not jump or fly; they have 6 legs with claws that clamp down on hair strands.
  • Lice can’t survive unless on the human head, they need human blood to survive.
  • Once off they head a louse will only live 24 hours, it needs to feed every 3-4 hours to live.
  • Head lice only live on the human head; they will not live on other body parts or on your pet.
  • Most common means of spreading head lice is through head to head contact.
  • A female louse lays between 8-10 eggs a day. They multiply fast so early treatment is best.

Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center is all about educating and eliminating head lice.  All questions regarding head lice are welcome. For questions or to schedule an appointment call our 24 hour Lice Line: 913-730-NITS (6487) or email info@heartlandhealthyheads.com. For further information please refer to our website www.heartlandhealthyheads.com

Head Lice Around The World

Head Lice are a common phenomenon worldwide and have been around for a long time. Cleopatra even had a gold lice comb. Was she seen as dirty or was this a common occurrence? In the United States, they are seen as pesky little creatures that create panic and chaos when it comes to getting rid of them. Having head lice is highly stigmatized in the Unites States and it is commonly believed that those with head lice are dirty and poor. I often get the question; does the head louse have any benefit at all? They are only pesky little creatures that live on the human scalp and suck the blood of poor innocent children. I assume having a case of head lice is perceived differently in different cultures around the world and may not cause panic. Throughout history having lice may have been a fact of life or seen as a normal everyday occurrence. Some cultures may even have a use for the little bugs.  I came across an article discussing the use the head louse as a remedy for jaundice in Spanish folk medicine. The remedy over time includes ingesting 9 live lice for 9 days on an empty stomach for treatment of jaundice (Vellejo & Gonzalez, 2013). Open access article: http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/9/1/52. Do you know of any other folk tales regarding head lice? How do certain cultures/countries view a common case of head lice? Please share interesting stories about lice around the world.

Head Lice Treatment: Confusion and Frustration

Head lice is not a fatal disease, but can send parents into a panic.  It can affect the social, physical, emotional and financial aspect of families. Families need a safe and effective head lice treatment option. Parents are confused with all the “lousy information” on the internet, longstanding myths about head lice and various treatments available.

Head lice get a powerful hold on your hair while consuming your life, if not treated safely and effectively. Most with head lice are embarrassed, feel guilty for not seeing it sooner, scour the internet trying to find  trustworthy information and the best head lice treatment. The treatment options can be hard to decipher: home remedies, over the counter products, prescriptions products, toxic products, all natural products, differing combs, and professional removal services. Then add the advice and opinions from family and friends, some feel sorry, some disgusted and some annoyed they have to have their children checked too. Last comes the price comparison, what is going to be the most cost effective options for getting these little bugs out of my life, away from my family and my house.

As the owner of a lice removal salon, I hear stories of so many battling lice. Most are confused and frustrated, already used an over the counter product and a home remedy like mayonnaise, followed by hours of combing. I love to hear the sigh of relief when I offer a treatment that is safe and effective, along with providing education and validation of frustration. Lice have been around forever and so far do not have a one-time treatment that is 100% effective. There should be no confusion about that fact. My advice to families is to recognize the myths, overcome the stigma of head lice, get a good metal lice comb, comb weekly and learn to identify head lice. Professional lice removal services should be knowledgeable about all treatment options and be willing to clear up any confusion about head lice and treatment options. Heartland Healthy Heads (www.heartlandhealhtyheads.com) located in Olathe, Kansas is here to help 913-730-NITS (6487) or info@heartlandhealthyheads.com.

Lice Removal and Health Insurance

Lice Removal and Health Insurance

Any treatment you choose can get expensive, especially if you are treating everyone in the family more than once, buying combs and products can add up. It all adds up and pretty quickly, including lice removal services. What about health insurance?  Will health insurance pay for my professional nit picking services? Some do, so be sure to check with your provider. Here is some general info to get reimbursement, if possible. Insurance companies require the proper diagnostic and procedure codes when submitting claims for reimbursement. Heartland Healthy Heads provides the codes required to submit to your insurance company. Most professional lice removal services will have this readily available. Another tip when submitting your claim for professional lice removal is asking you physician, whether it be a pediatrician, family doctor, dermatologist, etc., for a prescription and submitting the prescription with your claim.  Don’t forget flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts, some will cover nit removal services. Keep the receipts, come tax time, if you have enough medical expenses to deduct on taxes, professional lice removal and nit picking services can be included.