According to the CDC, approximately 6 to 12 million children between the ages of 3 and 11 contract lice each year. Once a child contracts lice, it can be difficult to get rid of it, especially if the child goes to school. If you keep treating your child but can't seem to get rid of the lice completely, there is probably a good reason why. And if you know what that reason is, you can address it and finally eliminate your child's lice. Following are a few reasons why the critters may not be leaving.
Treating lice isn't as easy as putting chemicals on the head and forgetting about it. There's a lot of work involved. If you don't do all the work, you can leave nits and live bugs behind that can and will infest your child once again. Live bugs can live away from a host for up to four days if conditions are just right. Nits can live for about 10 days. For this reason, you have to deep clean your house. Launder what you can and vacuum everything else. You also have to clean combs and brushes by boiling them or using a lice-killing chemical made for combs and brushes.
School epidemics aren't uncommon. You treat your child and get rid of the lice only to send them back to school where other kids haven't been treated yet. Maybe their parents haven't noticed the infestation or maybe you're just staggering your treatment schedule. Whatever the cause, your kids keep passing it back and forth to each other. This is why it's so important to communicate with your school. Sure, it's embarrassing, but all parents need to get on the same page to tackle the problem.
Many cases of head lice are resistant to over-the-counter treatments. Lice have essentially mutated to the point that you can't kill them with standard treatments alone. You may have to see your doctor to get an effective treatment. Prescribed treatments do work, for now, but there is fear that even prescribed treatments may become ineffective in the future.
Battling lice is stressful, and you may doubt that you're ever going to get rid of it. With dedication and persistence, however, you will get rid of it. Get a lice removal treatment from your doctor. Make sure you remove all nits and clean your house thoroughly. You should also coordinate with your school so you can nip the epidemic in the bud.