Spokane super lice can cause havoc in the classroom - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane super lice can cause havoc in the classroom

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

They're the size of a sesame seed, but lice can cause more havoc in a classroom than almost any other bug. And this year, the problem could be worse than ever. Nearly every state in the country is battling super lice, including our area. These pests have grown resistant to medications, making them extremely difficult to remove.

"Lice is more common than anyone would ever believe," said Spokane's Lice Specialist Joan Berkowitz. "Washington state does have super lice,"

That means they are resistant to over the counter medication and even prescriptions. They likely need to be individually picked out. It is a service Berkowitz said she is prepared to be swamped performing as school starts.

"They're not spread as easily as you might think, but if you're having close head to head contact, you are an easy target," she said.

Mother of two girls, Liz Ward, knows that all too well.

"It kept going around her classroom at school," Ward said of an outbreak in years past. "I kept getting notices 'someone's got lice" and I just thought Oh no!"

Ward said the struggle to rid her family of lice was overwhelming, to say the least.

"It really is like a part-time job if your kid gets lice," she said.

Here are the three things Berkowitz advises parent's to do before the first day of school to prevent an infestation:

1. Pick-up a lice repellent spray. The bugs hate the mint smell in it. It's available at most drug stores.

2.  Find a metal comb. Use it to frequently comb through your child's hair for anything out of the ordinary.

3. Put your child's hair up or in a braid whenever possible. Lice can trapeze from one head to the next so this is the easiest way to drop your odds of getting lice.

For more information about lice treatment and removal, click here.

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