Our mobile lice salon patients are mostly preschool or elementary school-aged girls and their mothers. It is common for boys in this age group to have lice, but less likely. It is hard to say why girls and women are more likely to have it. It could be that they usually have longer hair and it’s easier for it to come in contact with others or that girls spend more time in close contact with each other than boys, but that is just speculation. In our experience, most of the clients we treat are mothers and daughters.
2 Ways Kids and Parents Get Them
Pediculosis capitis and nits or head lice infestation is the infestation by head louse of the scalp and head hair. Lice cannot jump or fly, but they can crawl from one human head to another. So, how do they spread? What can cause a child to get lice?
· Direct physical contact with a person with lice, when the strands of their hair meet.
· Sharing of objects such as towels or combs with a person with lice.
Children can also get lice due to poor communication. A person with lice might not inform those she gets into close contact with that she has lice. It is therefore essential for a parent, guardian, or caregiver to notify the daycare or school that her child has lice so she will not contaminate the other children.
Where do head lice come from?
Head lice spend their entire life on the human scalp, particularly at the back of the head near the neckline. They can also be found behind and around the ear. Although uncommon, they are also sometimes on the eyebrows or eyelashes.
Head lice come from other people and not from another dimension. Where did human lice initially come from? How did the first human head get lice? No one knows, but it that human head lice came from head lice of chimpanzees millions of years ago.
How do head lice multiply?
The life cycle of head lice come in three stages: nits (head lice eggs), nymphs, and adult head lice. The life cycle starts when the head lice egg hatches and ends when it dies. Head lice have an average life cycle of 45 days.
It takes one week for nits to be nymphs (hatched eggs). It takes another week for the nymph to become an adult louse. An adult louse lives for about 30 days on a human host where they feed on human blood. When not on a human scalp, lice die within 48 hours.
Female lice mate with male lice several times a day during their adult life. Each head lice lay about 3-8 nits a day.
How do they transfer from one host to another?
A head lice infestation does not insinuate poor personal hygiene or dirty living environment. There are two significant ways lice can transfer from one host to another.
Head-to-Head Contact (Direct Transmission)
This is the most common way lice transfer from one person to another. Direct head-to-head contact or when the hair of one person touches the hair of another, which usually happens when:
· They hug each other.
· They play with each other’s hair, or even why they play together.
· They press their heads together to read a book, look at video game screen or other instances when they need to touch their heads together.
Head lice transmission can happen in schools, but it commonly acquired from family members.
Contact with Lice-Infested Materials (Indirect Transmission)
This way of head lice transmission needs to happen within 48 hours because head lice can only live this long outside of the human head. Here are some ways your child may accidentally pick up lice from someone else:
· Sleeping in one bed.
· Sharing brushes, combs, hats, towels, and other personal things.
· Sharing of scarves, hats, or other clothing.
· Laying or sitting on furniture a lice-infested person has just left.
In most instances, head lice transmission is through direct contact among children who have close contact during playtime or within a family.
Next: 10 Head Lice Facts
Wikipedia: Beauty salon
Yelp: Portland Lice Salons
Mayo Clinic.org: Head Lice
Healthy Children.org: Head Lice