PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Lice is something every parent worries about when sending their kids off to school.
The CDC estimates as many as 12 million children a year get lice. But, it’s not just a problem for young kids anymore and it’s also getting harder to treat.
Before Kerri Verrette sends her 6-year-old daughter, Jordyn, off to school, she makes sure her long, flowing hair is neatly pulled back.
“I always keep it up. It’s either in braids on a pony tail,” she said.
She wants to avoid the dreaded phone call she got from her daughter’s school last year.
“Hi, your child has head lice and you have to go and pick them up,” she said.
A study from the Journal of Medical Entomology found lice tested in 44 states were resistant to over-the-counter chemical treatments.
Kerri and Jordyn found that out the hard way. Eventually, they ended up at Lice Clinics of America, where technicians painstakingly combed them out.
They also used a warm air machine they say kills the bugs and eggs by dehydrating them.
Most home remedies require days or weeks of diligent combing to make sure every bug and nit is gone, But, not Lice Clinics of America, where there’s a guarantee.
“It’s one-and-done. We average about an hour per treatment,” said technician Michelle D’Agostino
She said lice is usually seen in younger kids, but now she’s seeing more teenagers coming in for treatment.
Believe it or not, she says you can blame their phones and selfies are the big culprit with the older kids
Putting your heads together to take a selfie makes it easy for lice to jump from one person to another.
However, the phone is not an issue for Jordyn and she now knows to avoid sharing brushes or hats with other kids.
“It’s really hard to go through lice because it’s really bad,” she said.
There are prescription treatments that are more effective against the parasites, but diligent combing for about a week is still recommended.