Every parent dreads the Lice Memo. Kids, especially in elementary school, are prone to getting lice, but you can be the first line of defense to stop the cycle. Imagine if every parent took preventative action with their kids. There would be no outbreaks!
Taking preventative action is not a guarantee your child won’t come home with the pesky pests, but, if you are diligent, you can keep it to a mild case. None of the preventative measures take an immense amount of time, and barely cost anything, so there is no reason you can’t adopt these habits into your home routine.
It is important to understand how lice spread in order to prevent them from becoming a problem. First, it begins with lice being passed from one child to another, usually through close contact or sharing of items like brushes, hats, and scarves. Lice don’t jump or fly, but they crawl super- fast! Knowing this, it helps you take the necessary steps to stop an infestation.
Know What to Look For
Nits, also known as lice eggs, are small egg sacs that are close to the scalp. They look like small, flat, oval, translucent discs and, if you see these in your child’s hair, you need to take immediate action.
What to Do?
For families who have kids with long hair, try to keep it tied up as much as possible. Braids, buns, and short ponytails keep long hair out of the reach of lice. Teach your kids not to share personal items like brushes, combs, or hair ties. Just this step alone can help tremendously in the preventative defense against lice and nits.
Incorporate a natural lice repellent into the daily get-ready-for-school routine. We suggest tea tree oil or rosemary oil, as both will not irritate the skin or have any side effects. They even smell clean, so you don’t have to worry about any chemical smell, as with other manufactured products.
Keep belongings separate. Items like hats, scarves, book bags, winter jackets, hoodies, and other items should be kept separately from each other at home. If possible, check out the situation at your child’s school, as well. Do the kids throw jackets and items into a bin or shared area where every item touches the other? If so, teach your child to keep his or her items hung up or in a bag.
Perform regular head checks. Once a week should suffice, and best over the weekend when you have the most time. The best method is right after your child takes a bath or showers; comb out their hair as you normally would, and then use a nit comb. It is important to have one on hand in case of an outbreak, and the metal ones cost about $10.
Comb through your child’s hair, section by section, looking for nits or lice. After each stroke, wipe the comb on a clean tissue or paper towel. The nits can sometimes be hard to spot, especially if your child has light hair. By wiping the comb on the paper towel, you can check it afterwards for signs of nits. They will appear as light brown or gray tiny flattened pearl drops.
Step into Action!
If you hear of an outbreak at school, or you get a copy of the dreaded Lice Memo, you should step up the hair checking to once a day. Also, wash pillow cases, pillows, bedding, towels, and other clothing immediately after finding out and after wearing/using each item. Yes, it seems like a lot of extra work, but it is definitely better than the alternative!
ClearLice offers a laundry additive that can help keep infestations out of your home, as well as sprays that are safe to use on your child’s hair, using peppermint oil and tea tree oil, among other safe ingredients. The goal is to prevent these pests from invading your home and family, and causing unneeded extra work for you. You can do this and keep your family safe without the use of pesticides and chemical ridden products.
Being an informed consumer is the first step in the defense of your home and family. Preventing lice with products that contain natural repellents will offer you and your family peace of mind.