Her Head was Made of Cabbage & the Cabbage was Full of Bugs

head liceCindy Lange-Kubick is a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star newspaper here in Lincoln. She contacted me yesterday about head lice. Schools are back in session and there have been reports about “Super Resistant Lice” in the news lately – PERFECT TIMING! We had a great conversation. I’ve always enjoyed Cindy’s writing style and I think you will be too. She begins by talking about a nightmare she had … “My head was made of cabbage and the cabbage was full of bugs … “. Now I haven’t had that same nightmare, but we’ve had to deal with lice in our home too over the years so I totally get it (as I scratch my scalp thinking about it!).

I wanted to share Cindy’s article with you because she does a much better job capturing the experience of having head lice!

Here’s a link to the article: “My giant cabbage head and my years as the scalp police” by Cindy Lange-Kubick

In her article, Cindy refers people to resources on the Head Lice Resources You Can Trust Web site from Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/lice – You’ll find:

  • Managing Head Lice Safely: This was recently updated with current information on products available – what works/what doesn’t work. You’ll also find information on school “No-Nit” policies and why they are in place.
  • Family Quick Guides in English, Spanish and Arabic – these are Easy-to-understand directions to help families manage head lice at home.
  • Removing Head Lice Safely Videos. These are on-line so you can watch at your convenience. The videos are available in English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.
  • Frequently Asked Questions section… Read the answers to questions like “Do my pets carry head lice? Do I need to check them and treat them too?” (the answer is “No”)
  • Photos of head lice and nits

Head lice calls into our office are not uncommon but happen routinely. Last week, I received a call from an agency looking for options to treat teens coming to them for various reasons. Lindane was being prescribed to treat any head lice because it was cost-effective. Lindane has been used in the United States to treat lice for 60+ years. Head lice have been shown to be resistant to lindane so its effectiveness is questionable. Most important: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend its use to treat head lice because overuse or misuse can cause neurotoxic reactions. Because of these adverse effects, we don’t recommend lindane either – there are other options. I’m hoping the information I sent to the agency will convince them to use a safer option to treat lice but it still bothers me to think lindane is still routinely prescribed.

Remember, head lice are nuisance pests because they don’t carry disease. However, treating them can be expensive and frustrating if you are unsure of what to do to tackle the lice. Get the information you need at http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/lice or contact your local extension office.

Have a great day!!


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