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Let’s face it, head lice can drive you crazy! No worries, the South Florida head lice removal and treatment experts who are members of Moms Best Friend Lice Removal Directory, located in Broward, Miami and Palm Beach, are here to ‘Save your Time, Money and Sanity’ with some quick tips About Lice and what to do for your home before your technician arrives.
As the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) puts it in a clinical report on head lice released in July 2010, “Herculean cleaning measures are not beneficial.” So, while scrubbing the house from top to bottom and boiling the bedding may make you feel better, it simply isn’t necessary.
Lice can crawl, but because they have no back legs or wings, they can’t hop or fly. They prefer to stay on human heads and can’t survive for more than 24 hours away from their host (food supply).
A hair-covered scalp is their natural environment and that’s where they live out their brief, blood-sucking life. A healthy louse will not voluntarily crawl off your child’s head, but they do sometimes fall off the head. That said, you may want to take a few basic housekeeping measures – just in case.
Many experts recommend doing some laundry and vacuuming to prevent reinfestation from lice that fall out of the hair, but these are not strictly necessary. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other experts, the risk of picking up lice again and getting reinfested by a louse that has fallen onto the floor or furniture is very small.
Here are some steps you can take to clean the home:
- Vacuum your child’s car seat cover as well as the fabric head rests in the car, if applicable.
- Change pillowcases, sheets, pajamas, recent tops and towels using the high heat drying cycle.
- Seal nonwashable items that have touched the head (such as stuffed animals and fabric hair bands) in a plastic bag for two days.**
- Wash combs and brushes in hot soapy water to dislodge any lice and nits. Remove all hair first.
- You can use a lint roller or vacuum for any fabric common areas including the couch, chairs, throw pillows, etc.
** While the video at the top of the page does state keeping items bagged for 2 weeks or until no evidence of lice is found anymore, they are referring to parents who choose to do a treatment themselves at home. If you are going to a clinic or hiring a lice removal service to come to your home to do the treatment, you will only need to keep items bagged for 2 days. The lice removal service professionals guarantee you will be lice free same day. Parents who choose to treat head lice themselves are relying on the over the counter kits from the drugstore which use harsh chemicals to kill the head lice. Unfortunately, this method no longer works due to resistance building by the parasite itself, causing the entire process to take much longer; if it in fact works at all.
Don’t worry about cleaning or quarantining your pets. Head lice don’t infest animals and you can’t catch lice from them.
Warning: Whatever you do, the CDC says, don’t use fumigant sprays, including the ones that come with the DIY kits. They can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
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