Tips to keep lice out of your child's head

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- While you're protecting your kids from mosquitoes and sunburn this summer, there's something you probably haven't thought about: head lice.

They're crawling among children at pools and summer camps, commonly known as a school-year problem.

As Michelle Fuhrman waits with her two daughters to get professional help with lice, she's trying to figure out how her girls got them.

"It's horribly embarrassing and I haven't told any of my friends," Fuhrman said.

What she doesn't realize is that she's not alone.

"During the summer, we're most definitely busier," said Mallory Lehman with The Lice Place treatment center.

Lehman says doesn't slow down when school's out.

"The kids are just more active in the summer, more play dates, more sleep overs, they go to sleep-away camp," she said.
"Chlorine does not kill lice. The actual louse can live a few hours in the water."

Texas Children's Hospital Dr. Stanley Spinner says the chances of getting lice while "in" the water are slim.

"Sharing a towel, yes. And if they're combing their hair outside of the pool and someone shares a comb, those are possibilities," Dr. Spinner said.

Over-the-counter treatments are available, but Dr. Spinner he suggests prescriptions or manual removal.

"Lice don't have any hind legs. They can't jump. They don't have any wings so they cannot fly. They just crawl really, really fast. So if your head is close to someone else's head they can crawl right on over," Lehman said.

Lehman says you can't really prevent lice.

"All you can do is minimize your risk," she said.

Lehman did share a little-known tip.

"Lice don't like the scent of mint and they don't like tea tree, so if you use a product that has those in them, they tend to turn and run away," Lehman said.

Lehman also says one in four moms will get lice when their children get it. Lice removal services there cost $99 an hour.
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