Children Face Low Risk for Head Lice - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Children Face Low Risk for Head Lice

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Catching lice is harder than you might think. In fact, kids in school only have a four percent chance of catching the bug when they're in the classroom.

"There's been a lot of research done to show that children don't pass it to each other unless they have close head-to-head contact for a fairly prolonged period of time," says school nurse Evy Monzelowsky.

And with that research, the need for schools to send letters home when a child is found with lice is no longer there. But just to be safe, parents still need to check their kids...

"Parents should check periodically because you can get lice anywhere-it's not just about being in school," says Monzelowsky.

And if you find one of the pesky bugs, don't assume all the lice are gone after you remove it.

"The eggs, or nits, don't come off easily. They don't just brush off. They are attached to the hair shaft by a glue substance, and that's how they survive for generations. When you see that, then you know there's some activity going on," says Monzelowsky.

So, how should you get rid of the bugs? An over-the-counter mild pesticide works well, but...

"They're not always effective at killing off the eggs that are left behind. So, one of the more important parts, after you treat with pesticides medication is to get a special lice comb and comb through a section of the hair at a time-very carefully to try to remove any of those eggs that may be left behind," says Dr. Laura Archuleta.

Now, if your child does get lice, it doesn't mean you aren't caring for them properly.

"There's still a stigma with kids who have lice that you come from a dirty family or there's something wrong in your home, and that's absolutely not the case. It's just a little bug that happens to like kids' hair," says Archuleta.

It's a tiny bug that can create a lousy problem for you and your family.

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