Bakersfield, CA – July 30, 2020 – Lice Clinics of America – Bakersfield, part of the Lice Clinics of America’s 200 clinic US network, reported an increase in lice treatments of 37 percent from April to May of this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Head lice infestations affecting the entire family have been more severe during the pandemic nationwide, likely due to the fact that families have isolated at home together.
“When quarantine first started, we changed our protocol to appointments only by reservation,” says Melanie Sherman, owner of the Bakersfield clinic. “We did only one family at a time in the clinic. It made for some pretty long days, but it was really nice to stay open and be there for the people who need us. In the middle of June, we reinstated our walk-in hours, but only in the afternoon. Our morning hours are still for appointment only so that we can accommodate those families who still want to isolate and do not want to be in with other families.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Head-to-head contact with an already infested person is the most common way to get head lice. Head-to-head contact is common during play at school, at home, and elsewhere, such as sports activities, the playground, slumber parties, and camps.” The CDC estimates 6-12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. among children 3-11 years of age.
Dr. Krista Lauer, Medical Director of Lice Clinics of America, states, “If you have children who are elementary and middle-school ages, it’s important to take some immediate steps to either prevent your children from being infested or to properly treat and kill the lice before they spread to others in your family and social group.”
Dr. Lauer says, “First, don’t panic, and second, don’t be embarrassed. A head lice infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene or the cleanliness of your environment. In fact, with recent self-isolating orders, head lice infestations more easily spread to everyone in the household due to close proximity.”