Thursday, 16 October 2014

Time to stop the lousy taboo ! Headlice advice

If your kid comes home from school with a cold or an upset tummy due the winter bugs doing the rounds, you might grumble about the downsides of kids being in close contact but you'll just take it as par for the course and not really be bothered. So why do people still feel a sense of unease and shame if their kids come home from school with headlice? It's just another almost inevitable part of growing up, just like getting grazed knees and the odd bump on the head. But it appears that lots of parents take the head-in-the-sand approach and don't bother treating their kids in the hopes that it will just go away. The only thing that achieves is eventually passing it on to the whole class ! Since sending the Madhouse kids back to school in September, the signs have permanently been in the window in both schools saying "headlice : please check your child's hair", right from the first week back. Don't be an ostrich, and don't feel bad if your kids do bring home some unwanted visitors - it happens to us all ! Lyclear recently sent over some interesting information that helps to dispel some of the myths surrounding headlice.


Amazing Facts about Head Lice

Head lice aren’t the most dangerous of insects but for some reason, they are probably the most embarrassing species to come into contact with. Probably because of their ability to spread from head to head as well as the common misconception that they are attracted only to dirty hair. In an attempt to dispel any false rumours and provide an insight into the treatment of these little devils, here are some amazing facts about head lice.

Home remedies – are they as potent as you think?

There are many that prefer home remedies to approved medicinal treatments. These might range from slapping handfuls of mayonnaise onto the scalp to more extreme measures like kerosene. The problem with home remedies is that they don’t guarantee the killing of the lice, providing more of a stun than anything else.

Lice can take a lot more punishment than people think. Despite their tiny stature, attempts to suffocate them with thick substances may not always pay off nor does it provide a solution to the presence of lice eggs attached to hair. So often it’s better to use some actual Head Lice products to rid yourself or your child of lice.

Straight hair – Beware!

People with straight hair are more susceptible to lice infestations than people with curly, afro hair. This is because they have a harder time latching onto the hairs as well as the coiled hair structure making it harder for them to move around.

In addition, people with afro hair tend to use more products which actually act as a deterrent to the lice. However, it is not impossible for those with curly hair to get lice, just less likely. In Africa the lice have adapted to curly hair and infestations are just as common there as they are with straight hair here.

No one is safe…

There is lot of dispute over whether lice prefer clean or dirty hair when, in reality, there is no concrete evidence pointing either way. Lice do not mean poor hygiene. If you’ve got hair, they can find you !

The lice – they’re adapting!

Head lice have been around for hundreds of years, going far back enough that their remains can be used to determine human migration patterns.

Over this time, it is believed that head lice have become resistant to insecticide types of treatments. The number of people needing treatment for head lice infestations yearly contributes to this – it is now estimated that 1 in 3 kids are likely to get head lice at least once each year.

Unless treatments with different formulas are developed we may be facing the prospect of a very, very irritating epidemic.

Vampires aren’t the only bloodsuckers around…

Lice are little insects the size of sesame seeds that latch onto hairs and suck blood from your scalp. They are easily transferred, from pillows, helmets, the touching of heads (looking at you “selfie generation”) and so on. But other than the actual medical issues they cause (e.g. itchy scalp, rash at the back of the neck) they’re basically harmless. They can be extremely annoying and cause loss of sleep, indirectly causing more problems, but on their own lice aren’t really up to much.

That itching sensation? It’s not the bite…

Funnily enough, the reason we itch when we have head lice is not because of the bite they use to suck our blood, as many people think. The itchy feeling is actually caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva left from that bite. So think about that the next time you feel an itching sensation on your scalp.

If this article hasn’t left you scratching your head, not from thought, but from fear of sesame seed-sized bloodsucking insects crawling around it, then it hasn’t done its job.

But if it has, you can take your more enlightened self, spread the word and maybe be a bit more empathetic to those with head lice, rather just giving them a wide berth !

for more information : check out the Lyclear website for details of their headlice treatments

Disclosure : I received some Lyclear products. Fingers crossed I won't need them for a while !

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Forget Silk Sheets, Get A Silk Quilt ! (review)

Carex just made handwashing a whole lot more appealing to kids !

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