FLINT (WJRT) (7/18/19) - "I've never ever heard of anybody in the black community getting lice," grandmother Tonya Epps said.
So, she had no idea what was going on when her daughter called Sunday.
"She was like "Mom! He has bugs in his hair!" And, I ran out and I'm like meet me at emergency right now!" she explained.
It turned out her 5-year-old grandson, Kaleb, had lice in his hair.
"He had a really tall afro and his mom had to wind up cutting it off," Epps said.
She was so shocked because Epps said lice has never been anything she's had or worried about dealing with.
"We usually keep our hair oily. We're used to putting - the old school term is grease - we always put grease in our hair," she explained. "Or you know, we used to - we've put heat in our hair. So we never really had that problem."
But now she said, a different hairstyle is popular.
"Afros today, they're really dry, they're - quote "the nappier look is in," she explained.
And, dry hair is exactly what Hurley Urgent Care's Physicians Assistant Lauren Guiles said the sesame-seed-sized bugs are attracted to.
"It's passed from just contact of hats, towels, gloves, any like cloth or contact of sorts," she explained.
But Guiles said getting rid of them is easy, "In most kids you can get over the counter - there's creams or like a shampoo; and, you use it one time and then the next day they can go to school."
"It really has been a frightening experience," Epps added. "I mean we've dealt with ants, we've dealt with other bug; but, this is nothing that the majority of our community know anything about."
As Kaleb heads back to school next month, Epps said they're keeping his hair short to keep an eye on it.