Lice cases up 70 percent from last year

The uptick is because over-the-counter and even prescription medications are no longer as effective, says one nurse.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For Sheila Fassler, a registered nurse who founded and opened Pediatric Hair Solutions, business is booming.

With locations in both north and south Charlotte, Fassler’s facilities offer a 30 minute, nearly 100-percent effective way to kill super lice.

“We’re up about 70 percent from the cases last year,” said Fassler.

The uptick, she says is because over-the-counter and even prescription medications are no longer as effective.

“Super lice, which basically all lice now are super lice, as they become stronger and stronger against the pesticides," Fassler said. "Basically, it’s similar to bacteria and antibiotics, the stronger the chemical we’re throwing at these bugs, they’re evolving resistance."

A resistance Jennifer Taylor knows all about. Her daughter first caught head lice while she was in kindergarten.

“We thought, 'what do we do?' And it was, go get over-the-counter whatever you do – the topical stuff and comb it out – but it was so much drama with my girls,” said Taylor.

Taylor said not only did the over-the-counter treatment not work, but she and her youngest daughter ended up with lice as well. So this week when she discovered her daughter had brought lice home again, she rushed into Pediatric Hair Solutions.

“And they just got rid of it,” said Taylor.

Pediatric Hair Solutions treatment’s cost about $180, but according to their website are covered by most insurance companies. They’re also not the only service in town. There are several others including Nit Nabbers Lice Removal, LiceDoctors, and Hair Fairies which all offer head lice removal services.

Lice can’t jump or fly and so they are mainly passed through head-to-head contact. Doctors remind parents that school isn’t the only place kids can pick it up. They say it’s also passed around your home, or during sports or physical activities where hats or helmets are shared.

Fassler says there ways to help prevent it, too.

“Keep the child’s hair in a tight hairstyle. We recommend a bun or tight French braid. And then use a preventative hair spray right before kids leave in the morning,” she said.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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