How-To Advice: Creating Your Own Emergency Lice Kit

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Lice aren’t immediately noticeable, either to those they’ve infested or to others who come into contact with them.  Parents especially tend to find themselves unprepared when they suddenly find out their child has lice.  Lice are a common occurrence, especially for young school-aged children, so it makes sense to do some prep-work before the fact. To help prevent you from scrambling at the last minute when you realize your child or someone else in your household has lice, we’ll show you how to create your own emergency lice kit that will keep you prepared no matter what.

Personal Treatment and Prevention Products:

You should view your kit as both a prevention and treatment go-to.  Parents with young children are likely to hear from schools and daycares that lice have been reported with other children, at which point it’s a good idea to have some prevention products on hand.  Prevention products can come in shampoos and sprays, and are typically designed more to repel lice than kill them. 

Many products use plant based essential oils that have properties known to repel lice and other insects.  Prevention products are usually milder than the treatment products themselves, so they can be a nice bath or shower replacement for a while once you’ve learned of a potential lice risk.

Treatment products are definitely something you want on hand immediately after discovering a lice infestation.  Often parents will discover later in the evening after their child has bathed that their hair contains lice.  Rather than have to wait until morning to track down treatment products, it’s useful to already have them on hand so that the lice can be immediately treated.  Lice are somewhat of a time-sensitive issue, as the longer they go untreated the more opportunities they have to lay more eggs, and to spread to other locations and people.

While plenty of products guarantee complete success at killing all lice and eggs (nits), having a lice comb at your disposal is going to go a long way in increasing the odds of complete removal.  The nits that lice lay are attached to the base of hairs with a substance that makes it extremely difficult to remove them by simply washing the hair.  Having a nit comb to remove them is like a double line of protection, as whichever nits aren’t immediately killed can be removed manually.

Lice Cleaning Products:

While lice can’t jump or fly – in fact they don’t exactly get around all that well, in general – they can fall off or move to areas like bed linens and carpets.  There are a variety of products on the market that you can use to clean your home and kill/repel lice.  This is an extremely important step in the lice eradication process, as even a few lice or nits can create an entirely new infestation. 

It’s best to wash all linens and clothes in hot water – not warm – and to spray lice-targeted cleaning products throughout the home.  Be mindful of what’s in these products, though, as ones that contain chemical pesticides may not be prudent to use in a house that has pets.

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For Comfort:

Dealing with lice is a stressful and time-consuming process, not to mention an uncomfortable one for the person that has them.  Children, in particular, may require a degree of comforting and reassurance, so, if you have young children that are routinely coming into contact with other kids, it’s wise to include a little something for them in your emergency kit. 

Children’s books about lice are a great option, as they can help explain the situation to them in a way that alleviates fears and embarrassment.  You may also want to include coloring and other activity books to provide them with something to keep them distracted – and their hands too busy to itch!

While lice themselves aren’t particularly harmful, their saliva can cause itchiness and irritation in many people – about half of cases – so go ahead and find some products that contain ingredients known to sooth itchy, irritated skin.  Preventing itching isn’t just about comfort, either, as itching can cause lice and nits to fall off and possibly end up transferring to someone else or end up back in the original person’s hair after treatment.

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For the best results out of your emergency lice treatment kit, remember to be as thorough as possible.  Many strains of lice throughout the country have become resistant to many over the counter products, so now, more than ever, it’s important to do everything you can to prevent and kill lice.  Follow all product instructions to the word, and don’t skimp on anything.  Don’t hesitate to find alternative solutions, either, if your chosen treatment options don’t work.