It happened, you got the dreaded school letter. Lice was found in your child’s class and everyone must be checked. The panic races through your head “please say my little Suzie doesn’t have it”. After a thorough comb through (hopefully with a Terminator lice comb) you find out that little Suzie is clear and free of lice (phew), but it is still in their classroom where she is for most of the day. Now what…
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention an estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur annually in the United States among children ages 3 to 11. Also, 1 in 20 kids in this age range have lice at any given time so chances are there will always be a kid in your child’s class (or at least in the school) with head lice…consider that a permanent school letter.
Ok, you could pull them out of school for life and home school? Or proactively shave their head? NO!!! Start with a deep breath and remember that a head lice infestation can happen to anyone, but you can use the following preventative measures reduce the chances that an infestation will be coming home with your little Suzie.
- Ask your child to not share their hats, hair ties or brushes with anyone (even at home).
- Ask them to keep their heads to themselves and avoid head-to-head contact with others.
- If your child has long hair, have them wear it up in a bun (preferred) or at least a ponytail. Long hair is more susceptible to brush against a classmate’s head when they are playing, reading or even taking selfies. This is how lice is spreads!
- Add a small amount of Tea Tree or Peppermint oil to your child’s shampoo. Lice don’t like the smell of it.
- Perform your own weekly head checks. Best to check in natural lighting and check small sections of hair at a time. Live lice are hard to find so you are really looking for the nits (eggs) that they leave behind. They will usually be attached to the hair very close to the scalp. The hot spots are the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
- If you get a school letter sent home, be proactive and use a non-toxic, pesticide free treatment on them, in case they just recently picked up a live louse. Although the topical treatment won’t kill the eggs, it will kill the live lice before they can lay too many eggs.
- Use a preventative spray or shampoo/conditioners when you know there are lice present in class (or year-round to be safe)
Following these tips will help decrease the chances of your children getting infested. We carry many preventative products including Shampoo, Conditioner, Spray and the Terminator comb at our clinic. However, these practices do not guarantee you will never have to deal with pesky parasites so if you get the bad news, contact us immediately at 519-208-5423 and we will be ready to help!