With back-to-school time for American children just around the corner, many parents are concerned about the negative health effects of spending prolonged periods of time confined indoors in close proximity with other children. In addition to viruses, lice are spread person-to-person among individuals in close quarters. The Mayo Clinic warns that these tiny parasites can be spread even to people with "good personal hygiene habits," and offers advice for preventing louse infestations, such as avoiding head-to-head contact with other children and not sharing hats, combs, or scarves. Some natural products not regulated by the FDA have been shown to repel insects such as lice in small studies; these include plant oils such as rosemary, citronella, and eucalyptus. For those unfortunate enough to experience lice, there are a few things to keep in mind.
August 23, 2013