25 Oct 7 Tips for School Children to Avoid Lice
Every parent experiences the dread that comes along with the “lice note” that schools send home with students once there is an outbreak. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent this issue from occurring in your home. The best way to avoid a serious spread of lice is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are 7 ways to help your child avoid them.
Keep Long Hair Up
Long hair poses a much stronger risk for lice than short hair. It makes sense since long hair drags along things that short hair never touches. Rather than letting long tresses grab up those pesky lice, keep it up. The best hairdo for girls is a bun because the hair gets tightly wound up, not giving the insects much surface area to attach themselves. If a bun is not in the array of hairdos you can do, though, a simple ponytail or braid will help to decrease the risk of lice grabbing onto long strands of hair.
Keep Items Separate
Kids bring many different items to school, making space an issue, but that does not mean shared space is a good idea. All children should have their own area to store things like backpacks, coats, hats and sweaters. If children pile these items on top of one another or even if they touch on a coat rack or similar structure, lice have a simple way of spreading. If you know your child’s items touch other children’s items, give the backpacks, coats and other miscellaneous items a good wipe down before bringing them back into the house.
Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an effective way to keep lice away. Parents can easily implement this strategy on a daily basis by adding a drop or two of the oil into the child’s shampoo while washing her hair or spritzing a little bit on the head every morning. It only adds a few minutes to the morning routine and can help to keep lice away for good. It is important that you only use a few drops of oil at a time, however, because the oil can cause the hair to become very dry and difficult to manage. Try starting with a little bit and if you think more is necessary, you can always increase your usage.
Regular Head Checks
No one wants to actively look for lice, but the truth is the sooner you catch them, the easier it is to get rid of them. Try to schedule weekly checks of your child’s head to catch any issues right away because usually when you wait until your child’s head is itchy, the infestation can be out of control. The easiest way to do this is while your child showers. After conditioning her hair, take a fine-toothed comb through every strand of hair. As you do this, wipe the comb on a paper towel to see if any nits or eggs show up.
Talk to your children about the importance of not sharing certain items. Of course, this probably goes against your general parenting chants, however, not sharing brushes, hats or anything else that touches a child’s head is important. In addition, caution your child to keep her head away from other student’s heads. Playing games or even sitting together at lunch could have girls giggling with head’s touching. This is a very easy way for lice to spread from one child to another.
Wash Belongings Often
Anything that your child’s head touches on a normal basis should be washed regularly. This includes pillowcases, sheets, sleeping bags, hats and brushes. Make it a simple part of your routine to do this on a weekly basis. If your child has friend’s over, especially to sleep over, make sure they bring their own pillows and sleeping bags in case they have the beginning stages of lice. Anytime your child sleeps at someone else’s house, always make sure to wash the items right away as well.
Educate Your Child
Without scaring your child about the fact that bugs could be on her head, make sure she is aware of the threat of lice and how they can spread. The more educated your children are, the more likely it is that they will take the necessary steps to avoid the infestation themselves.
These simple steps can drastically cut down the risk of lice in your home. The most important thing is to remember to educate your children and keep on top of the lice checks to stop any problems before they get out of hand.