DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas-Fort Worth saw a 50 percent increase in lice activity this winter over last year, according to an organization tracking infestations.

The organization, Lice Clinics of America also reported seeing a 30 percent increase in lice activity nationwide after comparing Jan. 2018 and Jan. 2019 booking and treatment data in its more than 300 clinics.

Scratch, scratch. Photography of a louse trough a stereomicroscope (photo credit: Getty Images)

The CDC estimates six million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the U.S. among children three to 11 years of age.

Though not life-threatening, lice are highly contagious and have built a resistance to over-the-counter remedies. According to the CDC, “Head-to-head contact with an already infected 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.”

“If you have school-age children in a region where lice infestations have been reported, it’s important to take some immediate steps to either prevent your children from being infested or properly treat and kill the lice before they spread to others in your family and social group,” said Dr. Krista Lauer, medical director of Lice Clinics of America, said,

She recommends the following to make sure lice aren’t living in your child’s hair:

1. Inspect your child’s head at home, especially if your child has an itchy scalp. Look for eggs, nymphs and adult lice. One adult louse can lay about 100 eggs during her life span. That’s a lot of new lice.

2. Call the parents of your child’s friends and have them check for head lice, remembering that earlier intervention can help to reduce the infestation level.

3. If you see lice—or if you are unsure whether you have lice—visit a professional lice treatment center.

4. Remember, traditional over-the-counter treatments contain pesticides that are no longer effective. Lice have evolved into “super lice” and have developed resistance to those pesticides. Find a treatment that is safe and effective. Lice Clinics of America has many from which to choose.

5. Be safe this season by starting your child on a lice prevention regimen using trusted lice prevention products such as shampoos, conditioners, sprays and hair bands that will help to keep lice away from your child’s scalp.