head_lice
Health

Preventing Head Lice – 3 Easy Ways to Keep Them Away

Preventing head lice is key when you have kids attending summer camps or heading back to school. Head lice are nasty. Once they take hold on your child’s head, they are tough to get rid of. They start to lay eggs almost immediately, and they multiply quickly. Children can contract head lice almost anywhere, since they spread fast, so it’s important for your child to know what not to do to avoid head lice. Prevention is the name of the game with head lice.

head_lice

Preventing Head Lice – Stopping an Infestation Before it Starts

Here’s the thing that’s so important to remember about head lice. Any child can get them. A lot of people tend to think that head lice is somehow associated with poor hygiene, but that’s just not true. Any child can get lice. All they need to do is make head to head contact with an infested child. Head lice are NOT the sign of a neglected child. In fact they often prefer clean hair. Head lice are hard to spot at first because they’re so small. That’s why we parents only notice them when the infestation is in full swing. But fear not. Prevention is your first line of defence and should be a daily matter.

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Don’t Share Items That Touch Your Head

One of the easiest ways to contract head lice is to share head-touching items. The lice can and do climb from the child’s infested head onto the item, then when they other child uses that item… Boom. Infestation. Items to avoid include things like:

  • Brushes and Combs
  • Hair Clips and Accessories
  • Hats and Bike Helmets
  • Scarves and Coats
  • Towels
  • Headsets and Earbuds
  • Hair Ties
  • Anything that can Touch the Hair or Scalp

Avoid Head Contact

Kids love to hug, or lean in close when talking. They wrestle around, build forts, and generally climb all over each other. It’s perfectly natural. If your child is playing with close friends, it’s not much of a risk. After all, if one of the kids gets lice, the other parents will know immediately and get the word out. However, if your child is headed off to camp or any sort of child activity that involves children they don’t know, it’s important for them to limit or completely avoid head contact. In addition, it’s important to keep long hair contained so that lice cannot latch on to any stray hair that might come into contact with an infested head. PONY tails and braids or buns for girls always!!

Keep Personal Items Separate

Preventing head lice involves keeping items separate as well. Even if your child avoids head to head contact and doesn’t share items, they can still contract head lice if their personal items are mixed in with lice infested items. It’s important for children to keep their items separate at all times whenever they go on any sort of trip – even a day trip. Children should keep all personal items out of common areas and never share storage areas like lockers, trunks, drawers, or any space were the items make contact for any length of time.

AND consider using a Tea Tree Oil or Rosemary hair product. There are some essential oils that work too. I very much prefer taking the preventative route over battling them full out. One summer when my oldest was 6 we spent an entire two months picking out nits and shampooing endlessly with the treatments. Lesson learned. LICE are awful. All the teddy bears had to be packaged away for weeks as we battled this little suckers. NO FUN. Our daughter had very long hair and was a hugger as many 6 year old girls are.

An Ounce of Preventing Head Lice is Worth a Pound of Frustration

Preventing head lice is key to avoiding a ton of hassle and general grossness. Head lice can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Even when you use a medicated shampoo, lice can still avoid death because of how difficult it is to hit every nook and cranny of the hair. And the days lice are becoming way more pesticide resistant so they are even harder to get rid of. Often times, it takes several round of shampooing plus painful comb outs with extremely fine toothed lice combs. Practice caution and try to prevent head lice whenever they go anywhere that could potentially be exposed. It’s important back to school information to remember.

Have you dealt with lice yet?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.

26 Comments

  • Alli Smith

    Once, my entire class got lice – all from one person who was infected and her mom didn’t realize all the steps she had to take to get rid of the lice. This is all great info on preventing lice.

  • Jeanette

    I am very happy to say that so far my kiddo has not got nice. It did run around his classroom but he never got to thinking this. I would definitely keep all these tips in mind as we go through the school year.

  • candy

    Telling the kids not to share their stuff was hard and they didn’t understand at first. When the teacher got on board it really helped all the kids understand why they couldn’t use each others combs, wear their hats etc.

  • Anita

    I’ve never had lice, but I heard it can be a nuisance. I’m sure this article would be helpful to many parents to help combat lice. Great points.

  • Mommy Outside

    I actually cannot believe with all our years of daycare and school, and all of the notes that have come home about lice in the class that my daughter has not come up with lice yet herself. I like to tell myself it’s because my kid only washes her hair once a week – maybe… But I’ve always been particular about her not sharing “head” things at daycare and school. She’s always been very good at taking that advice because the thought of lice terrifies her!

    • Paula

      Oh god I hope you never get them. HATE LICE. My older girl is the world’s biggest hugger. Around 7 years old she came home with lice but I didn’t catch them she had started day camp and they sent her home immediately – It was maybe July 3. That entire summer was spent ridding her of lice. Nasty nasty things. Of course her sister got them too because HUGS ARE AWESOME. Thank the lord that ainsley only had maybe 4 of them and I got rid of hers fast. I WAS MORTIFIED and I was paranoid and treating my hair too. NIGHTMARE.

  • Aeryn Lynne

    I am knocking on ALL THE WOOD, right now, lol. So far, we have been lice-free. My head is itchy just thinking about that though! Thanks for the tips! I hope it will never become an issue, but yes I’m just waiting for those slips to come home again this year.

    I’ve always been aware of not sharing hats, but scarves have eluded me to this point as possibly being suspect, EEP! I will remember this forever now, thanks! 😉

  • Sarah Bailey

    I remember my Mum used to go through my head regularly looking for them as a child, I don’t remember ever having a big outbreak of them thankfully I think she was very good at catching them.

  • Jenn

    A friend of ours just went through the whole mess of head lice. I felt so bad for her. It took months to rid of them. This is a great list.

  • cheryl

    I was lucky enough that my son never got it, but when he was 4 someone in his school did, so everyone had to wash their child’s hair with ridex for a few days.

  • gingermommy

    Knock on wood! Some how we have been able to avoid this in 23 years. But we do everything you have outlined above. If we had lice in the house it would be a nightmare

  • Pam

    Lice were one of my biggest fears sending my kids to public school. I wish I had known about the essential oils to help prevent them.

  • Claudia Krusch

    Head lice is such a frustrating thing to deal with. I add drops of Tea Tree Oil to the kids conditioner to help ward them off.

  • Lisa

    Before my oldest started school we sat down and had a long talk about how she isn’t to share anything that goes on your hair, or head. Just the word Lice makes me itch. Eck!

  • Victoria Heckstall

    This is such a great tips. Unfortunately we all have no lice at all. We use tea tree shampoo and natural product for our hair.

  • Chubskulit Rose

    When I was a kid, I experience this and my Mom was onto it right away, after that I never had it again.. These are great tips that would help a lot of parents especially school kids.

  • Ave

    My daughter just started school and these tips really come in handy. I’m always braiding her hair, so one step in the prevention is done. We also add a drop or two of tea tree oil behind her ears to keep the lice away. Let’s hope it works.