Head lice has not been eradicated during COVID-19 lockdown despite physical distancing and children being out of school.
“We expected to have a slow start when we began to re-open our lice removal services to the public,” said Dawn Mucci, president and founder of LiceSquad.com. “With children out of school and staying apart from their friends, many of us thought lice incidence would be significantly down and would remain so until children were back in school and socializing again.”
Head lice is spread with close physical contact, predominantly through head-to-head contact with an infected person. It stands to reason that when people stay away from others, lice would not have the chance to spread.
“With people staying home, and having the time to nit-pick, we figured parents might eliminate lice on their own which would be a positive thing!” said Alison Steinhart, operator of two Lice Squad.com Clinics in Owen Sound and Collingwood, ON. Steinhart has been surprised, however, with the severity of cases she is now seeing. “Business has certainly picked up again for us after months of quiet.”
Lisa Tecter, a Licesquad.com franchise owner in Ottawa, ON, said “I’ve noticed lice are more resilient and I have seen the most severe cases that may date back several months. Lice are on survival mode and with self-isolation, no lice reminders from school, and services such as ours not being accessible to families during the pandemic, despite best efforts head lice seem to have been much more difficult for families to tackle.”
As school begins again, Lice Squad.com recommends parents watch for signs of lice such as itchy heads and resume regular head checks in the family for day-care and school-age children.