Head Lice Prevention

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It is getting closer and closer to back-to-school time in the Mid-Atlantic, which means bagged lunches, school supplies, and homework sheets will be ubiquitous throughout homes everywhere.  However, one critter is looking to hole up in your home, and plans to use your child as a vector: lice.  Lice can be one of the worst fears a parent can have for their child, and with the new researching documenting that “super lice” are becoming more and more common (lice that are immune to over-the-counter treatments), lice prevention has never been more of a focus than now.  Here are a few easy tips to help prevent your child from getting lice this school year.

Among the many things that you teach your child throughout the school year, teach them not to share objects that touch the head.  Lice often use a medium, such as a hat or a comb, to get from one person to another, so by teaching your children not to share objects that other kids have worn, you cut down the chance of them getting lice.  Helmets, towels, earbuds, brushes, and hair clips are all ways that lice can spread, and, by extension, are objects that should not be shared between kids.

In addition to items worn on the head, lice can also spread from person to person through shared spaces.  Lockers, coat racks, closets, and drawers are all places susceptible to lice, so it may pay to teach your children to be wary of these spaces.  

Not only that, but encouraging your children to maintain proper hygiene habits will also go a long way in combating lice.  Regular showers, with shampoo, will keep some lice at bay, as a dirty scalp often invites lice to hop over and play.  You can even take it a step further and mix some tea tree oil into the shampoo to drive away lice.  They find it repulsing, and most humans find it pleasant.  

If you happen to get notice that there is a lice outbreak in the school your child attends, it is paramount that you check their hair right away.  This goes without saying, but the sooner you catch lice, the easier it is to treat them.  Comb through your child’s hair, and look for small white nits, which are the eggs.  Should you find one, immediately go for the over-the-counter treatment options, or see your doctor for something a little stronger.  Either way, early detection is the best policy.

Starting school again can be fun, but coming down with lice is not.  With these tips, you’ll be able to battle the lice invading your school, saving both you and your child time and energy in the long run.

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