Back to School Lice Prevention Tips
Back to school time is a busy time for parents. There is always lots to do to get kids ready to return to the classroom—new clothes, supplies, and the rigors of getting back on a schedule of getting ready each morning.
It’s also a busy time for head lice, according to the owner of Lice Clinics of Canada® – Kitchener. “Our network always sees a surge in cases of head lice in September,” Ben Silva said. “Kids get head lice over the summer, and when they return back to school, the lice spread like crazy. It happens every year.”
Lice Clinics of Canada® wants you to know that there are some things you can do to reduce the risk that your child will be one of the unlucky ones during the first few weeks of the school year.
“We tell parents all the time that the most important thing they can do to end the spread of lice in their circle is to communicate,” Ben said. “Talk to other parents, teachers, school nurses, and administrators about the school’s lice policy and what to do when a child has head lice. Having a plan for what to do in the event of an outbreak can reduce the panic, blaming, or silence that can make things worse.” You should also communicate with your children. Let them know about personal space and how they should keep their heads to themselves, especially when you know there is a csae of lice in your child’s class.
Lice Clinics of Canada® also recommends frequent head checks by a professional. “Lice and eggs (nits) are very difficult to see by the untrained eye, and it can take a few weeks for symptoms like itching to develop,” Ben said. “Early detection can make treatment easier and can prevent lice from spreading to others. As more lice hatch, they start looking for new homes.”
It also helps to understand how lice spread. “Lice typically only spread through head-to-head and hair-to-hair contact,” Ben said. “They can’t jump or fly. Children get them more often because they touch heads more often than adults do.” Lice can also spread through sharing hair care products like combs and brushes, and clothing like hats and helmets, but this is less likely.
You can also reduce the risk that your child will get head lice by shrinking the target. “Keeping hair close to the head—pulled or tied back—can help,” Ben said.
There is also a new generation of lice prevention products that can be used regularly or just at high-risk times like back to school. Lice Clinics of Canada has non-toxic preventative products to use to help keep lice away.
If you do find head lice on your child, don’t panic, and don’t blame yourself or other parents or children. “Our message to parents and children alike is always, ‘you didn’t do anything wrong, lice happens’” Ben said.
You also don’t have to panic because head lice are easier to get rid of than ever, thanks to Lice Clinics of Canada’s Health Canada-cleared solution, the AirAllé® medical device. It’s been clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits) using heated air to dehydrate lice and eggs. Best of all, it does it all in a single treatment that takes about an 90 minutes, and it is guaranteed to be effective.
“If you come in for a head check and we find lice or eggs on your child, we can provide treatment on the spot, and you’ll leave the clinic lice free,” Ben said.