If you’re a parent, you’ve probably received several information sheets to fill out, now that school has started.
But amongst those letters, might be the one you dread. It is about cases of lice.
“Parents can be embarrassed if they discover their children have head lice, but research has shown that these parasites do not indicate low socio-economic status or personal hygiene, “Regional Medical Officer of Health for Saint John Dr Issac Sobol says.
Some schools have already sent letters home advising parents that there have been reported cases.
Dr Sobol says anyone can get it, and that is why the advisories are sent out, “Generally, it is close contact from one person to another. Head lice crawl, they cannot fly or hop. It is spread from direct head to head contact, and it spread through things like hairbrushes, combs, hats and scarves.”
Dr. Sobol says one of the main symptoms of lice, is an itchy head, but parents should not automatically assume that’s what it is, “You can do regular checks of your kids, but there is nothing in the home that you can do to prevent lice. Lice don’t prefer different types of homes, so it is the luck of the draw.”
If you do find that your child has lice, you should treat it immediately. Dr. Sobol says it usually take two applications to get rid of the problem. It is also a good idea to treat all of your children and wash all clothing and bedding.