(BPT) – “Your child has head lice” is news no mother wants to receive. Not only can this common condition affect the child at home and at school, but it can also throw a family’s life off balance for days or even weeks.
Results of the new ‘Facts of Lice’ online survey of 1,000 millennial moms (ages 18-35) and 350 pediatric health care providers (HCPs) suggest that some millennial moms may be receiving mixed messages from various sources about managing head lice. The ‘Facts of Lice’ survey was conducted by ORC International on behalf of Arbor Pharmaceuticals between March 28 – April 10, 2017. Respondents were members of an online panel that agreed to participate in online surveys and polls.
Nearly all of the HCPs surveyed (95 percent) said that at least one parent had reported treatment failure using an over-the-counter (OTC) head lice treatment in the past year. Still, the majority (51 percent) of HCPs surveyed continue to recommend OTC treatment as a first-line option for their patients.
Considering a report stated that some parents may try OTC treatment up to five times before successfully eliminating head lice, the time and money commitment can become significant. Approximately 68 percent of millennial moms surveyed who had experienced head lice in their households reported they had failed to treat it successfully.
While head lice are not dangerous and do not carry any diseases, the survey explored the social and emotional impact the condition can have. Almost all (97 percent) millennial moms surveyed say they worry about the consequences of head lice on their children and households, including lost time at school (58 percent), inconvenience of an infestation (49 percent), fear of their child being bullied (45 percent), personal anxiety (44 percent), criticism from other parents (39 percent), ruined clothing or property (27 percent) and their own lost time at work (24 percent). Furthermore, 77 percent of moms surveyed say that their child was negatively affected, either socially, mentally, and/or physically, by having head lice.
The ‘Facts of Lice’ survey findings highlight an opportunity for more effective conversations between parents and HCPs about head lice management. To address these findings, Arbor Pharmaceuticals developed educational resources to arm moms with tools to encourage conversations with their child’s doctor and promote understanding of how to get a head lice infestation under control and combat associated misinformation and stigma.
If you have received the news from your child’s school that your child has head lice, or you received a note saying he or she has been exposed and you suspect an infestation, it’s important to reach out to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to provide you with advice for treating head lice as quickly as possible. Some important questions to ask include:
1. What is the most effective way to control head lice?
2. What head lice treatments do you recommend?
3. Does my child need to stay home from school?
4. What can I do to eliminate head lice from my home?
5. How can I help so my child doesn’t feel embarrassed or isolated?
More head lice tools and information, including more questions to ask your doctor, can be found at FactsofLice.com.
* This show helps parents deal with lice. Dr. Stephanie talks with fellow medical professional Susan Hammerling on common problems.
Your Health With Dr. Stephanie- Treatment of Head Lice