By Barbara Hall, CNN
(CNN) - The CDC estimates some 6 to 12 million Americans get head lice each year. Most are school age kids. Pediatric Dermatologist Dawn Davis of the Mayo Clinic says head lice don't spread disease:
[:35] "It's an infestation and it's an annoyance and it causes a lot of panic and anxiety, but it's not dangerous."
However head lice are quite contagious. Linda Davis-Alldritt with the National Association of School Nurses says to minimize infestations many schools have adopted strict no lice policies:
[1:02] "Typically the policies now read that the parents will be notified that the child has head lice and that the parents are instructed to utilize an over the counter medication to remove the head lice."
That medication is generally a shampoo containing pesticide and must be used exactly as directed on the label. Mom Kirsten Pannek decided to use a professional head lice removal service when her 6-year-old came home from school with head lice:
[3:14] "It could have cost $500 and we would have done it because you've got to get 'em clean."
Have you had to handle a case of head lice? Would you try to treat it at home, or spend more money for a professional service? Join the conversation and add your comments below.