BEAUMONT - With the kids now back in school, parents are holding their collective breaths, hoping lice will not make an appearance. Just because your students are in class, doesn't mean they're an automatic magnet for lice.
"There is no lice season but anytime there's an increase where you could have head-to-head contact, there's always the possibility of transmitting lice," said Amy Knox.
The Beaumont mom is a registered nurse and has worked in Southeast Texas for two decades. When her own kids picked up lice while on vacation, Knox decided to put her experience and expertise to use, helping others overwhelmed by a case of lice.
"You read so much on the Internet. That's the first thing, you Google it," said Knox. "You want to try and find all this information but there's so much information out there and not all of it, necessarily, is accurate."
Knox started a mobile lice removal business over the summer. Dubbed "The Lice Specialist of the Golden Triangle," she conducts head checks, recommends and performs full treatments with products and combing, plus follows up with additional head checks. Knox also offers answers to common questions, cleaning and prevention advice.
"You really need to be on top of not only doing the topical treatment but also using those combs and combing out [the hair], making sure that you get all of the nits or the eggs," said Knox.
Since lice shampoos and products don't impact the eggs, Knox says you have to use a special comb to remove nits and nymphs, the baby lice, from the strands of hair.
"A nit is glued to the strand of hair. It is difficult to remove it. You have to pull it down the strand of hair," said Knox. "So if you can move it and it freely falls, no it is not a nit."
The process can be intimidating and that's why Knox says many parents reach out to her for help. She also addresses myths head on.
"Lice do not fly, lice cannot jump on your head," said Knox. "The number one way to get head lice is going to be head-to-head contact."
She also explains that lice are host specific. The parasites feed on humans and cannot live on pets.
"They can get fleas but not head lice," said Knox.
She says finding lice is not a reason to panic. Call your doctor, determine a treatment method and do what you can to prevent head-to-head contact.
"A mint spray [or] mint shampoo will help to repel [lice and] give you a better chance of not picking up head lice," said Knox.
Knox also recommends to put your child's hair up in a bun or ponytail for school. Frequent checks at home can also help catch a case early.
"There are hotspots to check: behind the ears, nape of the neck, crown and if your child has bangs, in the bang area," said Knox. "Being able to treat early gives you your best chance of getting rid of it."
The lice specialist is able to coordinate with Daycares and other facilities that would like her to perform multiple head checks.
For families and individuals, head checks are a flat fee and treatments are an hourly charge, based on the severity of the case but include follow-up checks.
To contact Knox, click here to visit her website: The Lice Specialist of the Golden Triangle
You can also connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheLiceSpecialist/
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