Protect Your Children from Head Lice this School Year

Learn to prevent and control head lice

School can mean many things: learning, fun, friends, and… head lice. There’s just no two ways around it. When you have a large group of children together, an outbreak of head lice at one time or another is almost inevitable. Learn how to prevent, detect, and get rid of head lice.

Head Lice Prevention

Tip #1 — Don’t share

We teach our children to share and want them to learn this important social skill. But when it comes to certain items, we have to “un-teach” the sharing concept. Teach your children not to share:

— brushes
— combs
— hats
— scarves
— hair ribbons
— barrettes

When spending the night with friends, tell your children not to share pillows, slumber bags, or towels.

Tip #2 — Avoid head-to-head contact

This may sound strange at first, but children need to careful at school to avoid their head encountering heads of other children. This can happen during games, P.E., lounging in the “reading” corner with pillows, lying on the floor doing activities, etc.

Head lice detection

The best way to determine if your child has head lice is by wet combing. Simply parting and looking at your child’s scalp for evidence of lice will work but not near as well. To wet-comb, wet your child’s hair and apply conditioner.

Once the conditioner is applied, use a fine tooth comb and comb through the child’s hair. Conditioner will collect on the comb. Wipe this off on a clean towel and check for any lice or eggs. This method works 90% of the time.

Head lice treatment

Get rid of head lice using a medicated shampoo. Head lice will not just go away; they multiply and spread. Use a reputable head lice remedy like Rid or Nix and follow the instructions on the package.

Be careful when trying natural head lice remedies. Sometimes these aren’t as effective and the rest of the family can become infested in the meantime.

Head lice control

Once your child has been exposed and treated for head lice, be sure to follow up with these cautionary tips for the prevention of head lice spreading to the rest of the family.

— Vacuum furniture the infected child sat or lay on

— Wash all bedding the child slept with

— Wash all clothing the child wore

— Disinfect combs and brushes by soaking them in hot water (130 degrees) for at least 15 minutes

Remember not to panic if your child gets head lice. Lice are easily transmittable and approximately 12 million children each year get them.