According to the Mayo Clinic, lice are second only to the common cold among communicable diseases affecting schoolchildren.
Adult lice are about the size of a strawberry seed. Often by the time they are visible they have been around for a weeks, say the experts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidance on how to treat the most difficult cases of the pesky parasite.
Typically, lice can be treated with "comb in" over-the-counter medicines which do not require prescriptions or a trip to the doctor.
Unfortunately due to the ongoing lice struggle, over-the-counter medications don't work for everyone. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that some lice are now resistant to common medications used to kill them.
The over-the-counter lice killing meds are considered the first line of products to kill lice and in most cases they still have an excellent track record.
However, there are second line products which are only available with a prescription for their family doctors. Physicians have access to new prescription medicines such as Ovide and Ulfesfia.
If you use either Ovide or Ulfesfia be sure to read the instructions very carefully. Many people aren't away that Ovide is flammable and can be ignited with a hot hair dryer or hot hair irons.
Also, Ovide should never be applied in the kitchen where there is a heat source or near a gas stove. To be safe, avoid lighting cigarettes around Ovide.
Also, alternative home remedies such as suffocating lice with a thick layer of Vaseline or tea trees oil may also work in some cases as long as the treatment is consistent and not done in a haphazard fashion.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also suggests that the age old school practice of sending kids home when they are discovered with lice is no longer valid. Why? Once a child is discovered with lice the infestation has been there for several weeks.
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