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Worse This Year Than Bed Bugs Outbreak?
Head Lice: What are Your Kids Really Bringing Home From School?


Head lice live year round, but communities often see outbreaks during the first few months of a new school year, when kids spend the most time together. It’s an extremely common problem, impacting up to one in every 10 school children at one point or another.

Signs Your Child May Have Head Lice …

Common signs of head lice include:

  • An uncomfortable tickling sensation or feeling that something is moving in your hair or scalp, especially near the neckline, behind the ears and on the back of the head
  • Irritability -- urge to scratch the scalp, inability to focus and short temper
  • Difficulty sleeping, as head lice are most active at night
  • Small red bumps on the scalp, neck and shoulders
  • Evidence of lice on the scalp and lice eggs on the hair shaft -- sometimes are mistaken for dandruff, however the difference is they can’t be brushed easily out of your child’s hair
  • Sores on the head caused by scratching, which may become infected]

It’s also incredibly costly, with infestations costing the United States an estimated $1 billion a year.

How Can My Child Get Lice?

There is a misconception that lice only like to live in dirty hair. Clean hair is no deterrent for these parasitic insects, which are simply looking to live off of the blood supply from the scalp.

The insects also cannot jump or fly, only crawl, which means they’re spread most often through direct head-to-head contact. This explains why young girls, who tend to give hugs and be physically closer to their friends, get head lice more often than boys. Children in preschool and elementary school (ages 3-10) are most likely to become infected, as are their families.

So the most common way for child to become infected is to have close contact, playtime, slumber parties, wrestling, touching heads, etc., with a child who has lice. Contrary to popular belief, getting head lice by sharing personal items like combs, towels and hats, though possible, is relatively uncommon.

What this means as far as prevention goes is that there’s really very little you can do to keep head lice off of your child, short of keeping them completely away from other children.

"The more social your child is, the more friends he or she may have. If there's lots of head-touching, rug wrestling, these sorts of things, the more likely they may encounter head louse," lice expert Richard Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health told NPR.

Are Head Lice Dangerous?

Head lice are generally said to be more of disgusting nuisance than a danger, but emerging research suggests there may be more reason for concern. As the National Pediculosis Association states:

“DNA technology shows head lice to be the same species as the notorious body louse, which has long been associated with diseases such as typhus and relapsing fever. The potential for disease transmission via the head louse should not be underestimated.”

The discovery came in a recent study published in PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases, which reported that head lice and body lice have the same origin. The National Center for Scientific Research in France stated:

“ … fieldwork has shown that, in populations living in extreme poverty, the proliferation of head lice led to the emergence of lice able to adapt to clothes and turn into body lice. These body lice were then able to cause epidemics of body lice and bacterial epidemics.

This discovery shows that it is not possible to eradicate body lice without first eradicating head lice, which until now has proved impossible. In addition, this explains the regular appearance of body lice in areas where they were previously unknown, when sanitary conditions rapidly deteriorate.

Head lice are therefore permanently in an endemic state. In highly unfavorable sanitary conditions, head lice proliferate, and some of them migrate into clothes, triggering a new epidemic of body lice.”

This is concerning because body lice, unlike head lice, are known to cause highly lethal epidemics such as trench fever, typhus and relapsing fever Borrelia. Since body lice originate from head lice, it suggests that a head lice infestation should not be taken lightly.

“ … if head lice act as a reservoir for body lice, and … any social degradation in human populations may allow the formation of new populations of body lice, then head louse populations are potentially a greater threat to humans than previously assumed,” the researchers wrote in PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

How to Recognize a Head Lice Infestation

After treatment with a safe, pesticide-free lice treatment (see below for more details), a fine-toothed comb should be used to remove lice and nits from your hair.

The most common symptom of head lice is itching, which occurs after a person becomes sensitized to the lice saliva and essentially has an allergic reaction to it as they feed. However, this typically doesn't occur for two or three months after the lice first hit your head, and it's possible to catch one or two lice and not even know that they're there for years!

Most people only realize they have head lice when the itching starts, and by that time there may be a dozen lice on the scalp (typically there are no more than that at any given time). It's because lice can exist on a head for months with no symptoms that schools often perform routine "nit inspections."

Nits are the tiny white eggs that lice lay, which are firmly cemented to the hair shaft, making them difficult to remove. Finding nits in the hair, before many lice have hatched, makes it easier to treat the condition and keep it from spreading. A nit takes about eight or nine days to hatch into a nymph, or an immature louse. In about 9-12 days, the nymph will mature into an adult louse, provided it’s able to feed on blood.

An adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed and is light gray/white in color. An adult louse uses its hook-lice claws (there’s one at the end of each of its six legs) to hold firmly onto your hair. It can live on your scalp for about 30 days if it’s able to feed on blood, but will die within a day or two if it falls from your head. An adult female louse can lay about six eggs a day.

Getting Rid of Head Lice: Beware of Lice Shampoos

Lindane is a pesticide that was referred to as “one of the most toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative pesticides ever registered,” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is a neurotoxin that is absorbed through the skin and has been banned in more than 50 countries and in California.

Yet lindane is found in Kwell prescription-only lice shampoo. The United States Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reports that lindane can cause:

  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Immune system damage
  • Toxicity to the central nervous system
  • Death

Lindane can also cause seizures and this cancer-causing chemical has been linked to higher rates of childhood brain cancer. So this is obviously one lice treatment that you should avoid putting on your child’s head.

Other examples of the head lice pesticides used in common over-the-counter and prescription treatments like Ovide, RID and Nix include:

  • Malathion: An organophosphate that's used in the prescription-only lice remedy called Ovide. According to the EPA, this chemical can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, and confusion, and, at very high exposures (such as those from major spills or accidents), respiratory paralysis and death.
  • Pyrethrums and Pyrethoids: Pyrethrum is derived from the chrysanthemum flower, yet pyrethrins, used in Nix lice shampoos, are pesticides that have been deemed dangerous enough to be banned from agricultural use in food production. They may cause pneumonia, muscle paralysis, vomiting, asthma, and death due to respiratory failure. Pyrethroids, the synthetic chemical counterparts used in RID lice treatments, have similar effects.
  • Piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a pesticide synergist added to products to increase the potency of pesticides.

Flea Tick b GoneWhy Choose Lice B Gone™?

  • 100% Safe! Contains no harmful pesticides or irritating chemicals.

  • Highly Effective Clinically proven to safely remove lice and nits

  • Convenient: Easily applied with a handy pump sprayer ... no waste ... no mess

  • Very Economical: Lice B Gone™ provides THE best value

  • Only One Application Required: Most cases require only one application per treatment

  • Preventive Against Lice, Nits AND Fleas and Ticks: Can safely be used for precautionary measures as often as desired or needed

  • Available in Multiple Sizes: 2-Application Spray, 8-Application Spray (16 oz), 2-Application Kit (4 oz & incl. 2 shower caps, nit comb) and 64-Application for Schools & Other Orgs. (128 oz)

  •'s 30-Day Satisfaction or Your Money Back Guarantee

Preparing NOW to NOT Wish You Had Later -- See Low Prices & Order Now!

This outbreak is expected to reoccur next year as bad or worse as this year. It’s best to have what you need for when you need it vesus wishing you should have , could have or would have gotten the healthy stuff in advance.

Especially when it’s not a matter of “if” as much as “WHEN” you need it and can’t get it right away!

Over-the-counter products such as Nix and Rid contain more pyrethroid pesticides than Yard Guard, Ant & Roach Spray and Flea & Tick Shampoo for dogs!

Further, these dangerous treatments are becoming increasingly ineffective as lice are developing resistance to them. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health have reported that lice have become resistant to pyrethroids. If you are a parent or grandparent, please e-mail this important article to your school's administrators, as schools are one of the largest promoters of these dangerous pesticides!

A Safer, Natural Option: Lice B Gone!

After extensive review, we highly recommend you use Lice B Gone, a safe, non-toxic, 100 percent pesticide-free multi-enzyme shampoo made from natural plant sources. This extra-strength formula has been clinically proven to effectively remove lice and nits without harmful pesticides or irritating chemicals.

It is also effective on body lice, crab lice and scabies.

As William E. Currie, director, International Pest Management Institute, stated:

" … we are suggesting Lice B Gone as a low risk, effective product that can be used for students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) who may have head lice…

Most of the products for controlling head lice that are available over the counter or by prescription contain pesticides such as Lindane, Malathion or Permethrin, which may have an adverse effect on children. Some pesticide exposure, even at very low levels, has been shown to have an adverse effect on learning ability in children.

Although Lice B Gone is a very low risk product which manages head lice, it also softens the glue so that the nits are removed with the initial shampooing. This is why we are bringing the Lice B Gone to the attention of the school nursing staff, so they may suggest its use. I have reviewed the clinical study, the testimonials and the research data and like the fact that it does not contain pesticides, does not harm pregnant/nursing women, and can be used as often as necessary. The fact that Medicaid is covering the product in some states is an added benefit."

Lice B Gone is incredibly simple to use, simply spray onto dry hair until completely saturated. After 60 minutes, comb out the lice and nits and rinse. After the lice have been killed and removed (this generally only takes one application), you’ll want to be sure there are no lice lingering in your home.

Remember, lice cannot survive for long without a human host, so you needn’t panic when cleaning your home for any rogue lice. However, commonsense precautions include:

  • Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens and other items the infected person came into contact with two days prior to treatment. Use hot water and a high0heat drying cycle. You can also have items dry cleaned or seal them in a plastic bag for two weeks.
  • Put brushes and combs in hot water for five to 10 minutes. The water temperature should be at least 130 degrees F.
  • Vacuum floors and furniture the infected person came into contact with.

You Can Also Use Lice B Gone as a Preventive!

If your child is in day care, preschool, kindergarten or elementary school, there’s a good chance he or she will come into contact with head lice at one point or another.

Conventional lice and nit products CANNOT be used in a PREVENTIVE manner.  It is contrary to their label instructions and potentially harmful to the user to apply a pesticide product in a precautionary manner. However, because it is completely safe and highly effective, you CAN use Lice B Gone as a preventive.

We highly recommend keeping it on hand and treating your child’s hair with it on a monthly or greater basis, especially after high-risk activities such as attending camp or sleepovers.

And remember, if your child does get head lice, don’t panic. With safe and effective treatment options like Lice B Gone, lice will be gone in jiffy, with no mess, no fuss and no lasting embarrassment or discomfort for your child.

SixWise Ways!
SixWise Says ...

Lice infest up to 12 million Americans- adults, kids, men, women, rich, poor, you name it-every year.


Recommended Reading

Lice Can Be Good For You: The Benefits of Parasites Revealed

Bugs that Bite: Interesting Facts & Necessary Precautions on the Insects That Crave You


PloS Neglected Tropical Diseases March 2010

National Center for Scientific Research March 25, 2010

MedlinePlus October 14, 2010

NatGeo News Watch March 26, 2010 November 30, 2006

CDC Head Lice Fact Sheet

The National Pediculosis Associaiton

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