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Life Lessons: Heads up about lice

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 10 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

Life Lessons Heads up about lice

It's back-to-school time, but kids can often end up bringing home more than just homework.

Head lice are something many parents dread and are one of the top reasons kids miss school.

To prevent a full out infestation that doesn't seem to go away, we'll teach you fact from fiction when it comes to these creepy crawlies.

Many parents feel they can't stop lice after discovering them in their kids' hair, but with more than 15 million cases a year, it seems inevitable.

But what can you do?

Forget washing in mayonnaise. Lice can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes.

If you want to avoid pesticide shampoos, try mixing rosemary and tea tree oil into regular shampoo.

Parents also shouldn't worry about the little bloodsuckers hiding out in the family dog or cat's fur.

Head lice can only live off of human blood, so locking pets outside or bathing them won't help stop an outbreak.

The main culprit in the spread of lice is direct head to head contact, like hugging and playing.

Kids are unlikely to pick up lice from hats, combs, or bike helmets.

Studies show that once lice are off the scalp, they die within hours.