According to the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department, the winter season is an ideal time for a lice outbreak.
These parasites are typically spread from head-to-head contact but can also be spread through the sharing of hats, scarves or the other extra clothing worn in the winter months. Lice are most commonly found in children in Elementary or pre-school. The Health Department advices the best prevention method is to check your child's hair twice a week.
Henry Beasley, the Coordinator for Lice Prevention and control explained, "preventing is mostly done through checking, I like to check a child on Monday morning and make sure you are not carrying anything into school and then Friday afternoon to make sure they are not bringing anything home to you. That is one good way of preventing them. "
Beasley also suggests to put girls hair in pony tails or pig tails and to spray scalp with hair spray and for boys keep their hair short. If prevention does not work, the itching will set in two weeks after infestation.
"Really, when you start itching, you have already had head lice for two weeks, what causes the itching is when the lice chew into your scalp and deposit their saliva, which is like an anticoagulant you become allergic to that and it takes two weeks of that building up in your system before you start to itch and after the lice is gone, the nits are gone, you itch for two more weeks. "
If you or your child become infected with lice, stay home from work or school to prevent further spreading to others. Then purchase the shampoos and available over the counter or with a prescription. For further information on lice, head to The Health Department's website at www.zmchd.org