According to Lice Clinics of America, there has been a 25% increase in lice activity from April to May in 2020, with some communities even seeing a 50% increase. Your first reaction to this finding is likely shock. If children are quarantined in their homes, where are they contracting lice? The answer is simple – the children likely already had lice before the lockdown that had not yet been diagnosed. They then quickly transmitted lice to the rest of the members of their household, the infestations going unnoticed for some time before they got out of hand.
We often stress that school nurses are the first in the line of defense against lice. So with children not in school where nurses can spot the lice infestations, there is less proactive lice checking happening.
On the TODAY show, Dr. Kenneth Polin, a pediatrician at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, recommended that parents call their pediatricians for lice prescriptions. However, we would caution against that solution and instead recommend using the wet combing method of lice removal. This method focuses on the manual removal of lice and nits (lice eggs) by physically combing them off the head. Thus, directly intervening in the lifecycle of the lice and preventing the nits from hatching and producing even more lice.
As lockdown restrictions remain in flux across the country, keep this increase in lice cases in mind as your child comes home from spending time with others. We recommend frequent manual checks using a WelComb®.