Don’t Panic: Here’s What to Do if “Super-Strain” Lice is in Your Area

posted: 08/19/15
by: Courtney Reimer
child with mom combing hair

Back to school time brings all kinds of unexpected news (you need HOW MANY pencils in their backpack?), but this year back to school brings an especially unpleasant piece of news: there are some "super strains" of head lice in about half of the country right now. But don't panic! If you follow these easy steps you might be able to prevent the unwanted guests from setting up shop on your little ones' locks.

  • Make sure kids aren't sharing anything that touches heads. That includes hats and hairbrushes, but also dress-up gear. The American Academy of Dermatology points out that even earbuds used for phones or tablets might be a vehicle for lice.
  • Keep things separated. One thing we keep being reminded of: lice can't jump, but they do love to crawl. Make it more difficult for them to crawl from one jacket to another by spacing out how things are stored at school.
  • Check early and often. With these super strains, once you have them you're kind of stuck with them, but better to find out sooner than later. Here's how to do a thorough check.
  • Inform fellow parents if you're infested. Don't be embarrassed; it happens to everyone at some point, seemingly. Do unto other parents as you would want them to do for you: spread the word so you can help stop the spread of lice.
  • Limit sleepovers. Probably the #1 culprit for the spread of lice since time immemorial is the sharing of pillows and blankets.
  • Get rid of their nesting place altogether. In what could be called the most drastic (but also most foolproof) way of fending off the vermin, you might consider shaving your kids' head to deprive lice of a place to call home.

a school nurse with helpful tips about preventing the spread of lice