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Head Lice And It's Negative Social Stigma

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Shhh, Our family has head lice and we can’t tell anybody!

An estimated 6 to 12,000,000 children a year get lice between the ages of 3 to 11 in America. Still there lies a negative social stigma placed upon our children and their parents when this happens. Bullying, shunning, social isolation and even forced absences from school occur to a child that contacts lice through no fault of their own. If other parents hear about a child having lice, this child may be stigmatized by isolating the child during lunch, disinviting them to parties and get togethers and making them feel dirty, long after the lice are treated and gone. Also misdiagnosis of head lice infestation is common because many people are not sure how to identify lice.

It’s understandable that another parent does not want their child to get lice but a lot of concerns that parents have are based on false information and I would like to clear some of these falsehoods up for you.

Hi, My name is Alana Larsen and I am a licensed cosmetologist/salon owner for over 30 years in NJ. I now live in Sarasota County and I own and operate a mobile lice treatment company called “Lice Removal Simply LLC”. I remove lice in the privacy of the client’s home in Sarasota County. My innovative method of treatment alleviates the stress that this situation causes quickly and it is cost efficient. I'm your neighbor, not a big Corporation and I really care.

So let’s clear up some of these myths and untruths so hopefully instead of chastising these poor children and their families we can all understand this problem and maybe help them. Who knows, the next lice infestation may be on someone in your family.

1. How Are Lice Transported? Lice cannot jump or fly, they can only crawl. It’s hard for them to stay attached to things other than hair as their legs are designed to grip the hair shaft and are mostly transported by head to head contact. A small percent are transported by hats, helmets, and hairbrushes.

2. How are lice Eradicated? It’s best to call a professional. A professional detailed combing with a quality lice comb and a non-pesticide product and educational handouts is best and safest way to eradicate lice.

3. How Long Will It Take Before Lice Are Completely Gone? After the initial combing and treatment, lice will be gone. Our follow-up treatment only requires two more treatments by the family then the lice cycle is broken. Sleeping with. Oil is not necessary.

4. Are Lice Dangerous? No. They do not carry diseases. They are parasite and live on the blood from the scalp of humans.

5. How Long Does A Louse Live? On the head an adult louse can live 30 days, lying 6-10 eggs a day! If it is off the head it can only survive 24-36 hours. A nit (egg) once off the head dies quickly.

6. Are lice attracted to Dirty Hair? FALSE. Lice like clean hair, it’s easier for them to climb.

7. How can I Prevent My Child From Getting Lice? The best prevention is to do a lice check once a week using a quality lice comb to comb through the child’s hair. It’s important to catch lice early, before they multiply. Keeping long hair in a bun or ponytail with some gel and a lice repellent scent is helpful as well.

8. Should I Report That My Child Has Lice? Reporting a lice infestation is up to the parent, however it is in everyone’s best interest to do so, this way the cycle of lice can be stopped and this will ensure that your child does not get lice again.

These are just some of the most common FAQ on my handout sheets. I hope they are helpful and that I may have cleared up some myths and given you a better perspective.

So what can we do to stop the negative social stigma attached to having lice? I am a firm believer in education. Maybe each school can have a support group. A group of parents that have had lice and can now coach a new family that is infested with lice and assure this family that they are not alone. This would be very comforting to the family. I would be happy to speak at any PTA group meeting.

I hope after reading this that we now can take a more empathic approach to this condition and stop the negative social stigmas associated with getting lice. Please contact me if I may be of further help to you and/or your school.

Alana Larsen

Owner, Lice Removal Simply


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