Who Gets Head Lice
February 15, 2016
The other day, I came by an interesting statement made by an associate. “People still get head lice? Where? That’s not something I’m worried about. There’s no way anyone in my household can get it. We’re [uneducated reason].”
I redacted the exact reason this person mentioned because by itself, it doesn’t matter. He was wrong. There is no scenario that makes anyone exempt from contracting head lice. Well, except maybe being bald.
But there does seem to be a lot of lingering misconceptions about these bugs and their eggs, how they get around, and why. Let me debunk a list of incorrect assumptions, any of which could be used to fill in the “[uneducated reason]” in the false statement I mentioned in the first paragraph.
For this segment I decided to ask my friend; Stacie of The Pink Combs.com to debunk and clear up a few myths about lice.
“We can’t get head lice because we’re clean.”
It doesn’t matter how clean your house is or isn’t. Head lice don’t live anywhere except in human hair, close to the scalp. Without the blood of their host, these parasites will die within 24 hours. Children engaging in activities with other children —whether it be sleep-overs, music lessons, sports and gymnastics, dancing, or just plain-old play-dates — have an increased risk of contact with other children who may be infested.
Cleaning yourself isn’t enough to prevent them, either. Once you’re infested, head lice will cling to your hair even when bathing or swimming. They can only be removed with treatment.
“We can’t get head lice because we’re middle / upper class.”
Maybe once upon a time head lice were mostly prevalent in third world countries and/or impoverished household, but that is no longer the case today. Because head lice can be transmitted simply by being in close proximity of someone infested, your income level won’t make you immune.
“We can’t get head lice because we’re in the 21st century now! Who still gets head lice?”
Actually, head lice may actually be even more pervasive now than it was a generation or so ago. The more exposure a child has to other kids, the greater their risk of coming into contact with someone who is infested. Today, there are more children attending daycare and before and/ or after school care than ever.
Parents also are busier now, making thorough grooming and inspection of their children a rarer occurrence.
Meanwhile, the lice have changed over time as well, and have become resistant to many of the over-the-counter treatments available.
“We can’t get head lice because we’re adults.”
Because of their activities and the sheer number of peers they are exposed to on a daily basis, children are more prone to getting infested than adults. However, this doesn’t mean adults are immune to head lice, and the grown-ups in a house with infested children are definitely at risk of becoming infested as well.
“We can’t get head lice because we’re Black.”
Due to a difference in hair texture and shape, Black people in the USA and other Western countries are generally less likely to get infested than Whites, Asians and Hispanics. 10.4% of White children contract head lice whereas only 0.3% of Black children do.
However, this does not mean that Black people can not get lice at all — they do, just rarely. This may be a different case in some places in Africa where the head lice may not have as much of an option as they do in the USA, for instance.
So in conclusion – lice don’t do much discriminating. They can be caught by anyone of any age, gender, social class or race. Don’t think that a head lice infestation isn’t something that can happen to you or your children – because it can.
For more information, please consult with Stacie and her team at The Pink Combs.com – Hair Lice Removal in Atlanta Georgia