many parents, and also now experienced salons, still discover themselves trying to find louse eggs and also removing castle by hand. Corbis hide caption

For century now, pets, dirty kids and dirty houses have to be blamed for dispersing head lice. Harvard lice skilled Richard Pollack to adjust the document straight.

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As resistance to classic insecticides grow in head lice, part researchers space abandoning poison shampoos and taking a various approach, from electrocution and suffocation to a lotion that acts together a shrinkwrap.

Head lice is among the optimal reasons youngsters miss school, yet there"s no single, foolproof remedy.

among the most time-honored philosophies is nitpicking. This involves picking lice eggs, well-known as nits, the end of hair.

Robin Meigher the Potomac, Md., came to be a nitpicker after her 8-year-old daughter, Natalie, was sent residence from institution with head lice. She simply never imagined that she"d still be picking a year later.

"They favor to hang out close to the hairline," Meigher states of the nits together she searches with Natalie"s hair utilizing a pet comb with long metal teeth.

as soon as she clues one, she isolates the strand that hair. The small egg is no bigger 보다 the guideline of a ballpoint pen, and it"s cemented to the hair through a organic glue-like problem made by the mom louse.

"You have the right to feel this small bump top top the hair, and also it doesn"t come off quickly at all," states Meigher. To remove the egg, she yanks the end the strand of hair.

"No Nits" plan Flawed?

Meigher wishes her diligent work will pay off. The score is to keep Natalie in school. She"s been sent out home five times since her early stage head-lice outbreak critical year. College administrators obtrude a "no nit" plan in an initiative to contain the spread out of head lice, however there"s little evidence to imply that the plan is effective. Nationwide, it"s estimated that 12 million come 24 million institution days are lost annually.

throughout the early outbreak, parents are urged to use over-the-counter head lice shampoos. Studies present these job-related well to kill off the live bugs, yet recent research has uncovered that the bugs might have become resistant come the medicated shampoos.

Lice skilled Richard Pollack that the Harvard school of Public wellness says there"s no genuine trick to prevention, brief of isolating a child.

"The more social your child is, the an ext friends that or she might have. If there"s several head-touching, rug wrestling, these sorts of things, the much more likely they may encounter head louse," Pollack says.

This is why elementary school school children seem to pass it around. Lice space blood-sucking helminth that live only on the hair of people, describes Pollack. They spread out through straight head-to-head contact.

"The commonly held belief, which is folklore, is that lice are shared through things favor combs and also brushes and hats and also helmets," Pollack says.

some authorities believe these personal items can aid transmit head lice from one human being to another. But Pollack describes the bugs cannot fly or jump. And also studies display that once the lice space off the scalp, they dice within hours.

due to the fact that head lice don"t transmit disease, Pollack views them as a nuisance. Usually, the just symptom is an itchy scalp. Pollack says that college administrators must abandon their "no-nits" policy, and the nation"s top pediatric teams agrees.

In 2002, the American Academy the Pediatrics amendment its head-lice position, stating that no healthy and balanced child need to be excluded native or allowed to miss out on school since of head lice, and that "no nit" policies for go back to school need to be discouraged.

Professional Nitpickers

because that moms who room too grossed the end or liven to choose nits, there"s a brand-new option. Franchises of experienced nit-picking salons space popping up approximately the country.

Maria Botham runs the Los Angeles-based Hair Fairies. She says there"s still a society stigma attached to lice. Many world mistakenly believe that the bugs are regarded hygiene.

"Most clients who come in are just devastated," states Botham.

making use of shampoos, creams, and also nitpicking, the Hair Fairies salon can usually knock the end an infestation in 3 hourlong sessions.

"It"s a manual, labor-intensive process," states Botham, so to save the kids distracted, the Hair Fairies salon provides Gameboys, DVDs and toys. The treatment expenses $75 one hour and comes through a 14-day guarantee.

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And since it"s difficult for kids to avoid putting your heads together, the Hair Fairies have a lot of repeat customers.