Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

December 3, 2013

Untangling 7 myths about head lice

(Continued)

Head lice are undeniably gross. Eckert says she faces tears and panic from parents every day. "Seeing [lice] in their kid's hair," Eckert says, "makes a normally sane person insane."

The American Association of Pediatrics suggests that kids with lice stay in school: "Because a child with an active head lice infestation likely has had the infestation for 1 month or more by the time it is discovered and poses little risk to others from the infestation," its guidelines say, "he or she should remain in class but be discouraged from close direct head contact with others."

It doesn't help that there's such confusion about how the little beasts operate. Here are a few common myths:

1. You're more likely to get lice if you're dirty.

"Head lice has nothing to do with hygiene," says Andrew Bonwit, a pediatric infectious-disease expert at Loyola University Health System outside Chicago. "It has to do with whether the person was exposed to someone with head lice." Bonwit says a louse, which is "about the length of George Washington's nose on a quarter," doesn't have discriminating tastes: It wants warmth for its eggs and a regular "blood meal." It doesn't matter if the dish is dirty or clean.

2. Your pet can carry lice.

Lice feed only on humans. Fleas and ticks are another story.

3. Lice can jump and fly.

No. They just crawl. That's why kids are so much more likely than adults to have lice: They often touch heads when interacting, whether playing or talking or sleeping together at slumber parties (which are top-notch settings for lice transmission). A few lice can quickly scuttle over hair to a new head while, say, kids press close to take photos, snuggle up to watch a movie or share a pillow. While adults can get lice from their children, they rarely are the family members to bring the bugs home. (As Bonwit points out, "In the typical office, there's probably not a whole lot of hugging going on.")

Text Only
Community News Network
  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.12.33 PM.png Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

    A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014

  • State lawmakers tweak gun regulations

    Obtaining a concealed carry weapons license within the Commonwealth of Kentucky is not a simple task.

    July 16, 2014

  • When your doctor commits suicide, things get complicated

    When they call for appointments, patients are told they can't see their doctor. Ever. The standard line: "We are sorry, but your doctor died suddenly."

    July 15, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks