It is the start of a new school year which means lice prevention might be on your mind. I know it seems to be flooding my Facebook newsfeed! Thankfully we have yet to have an issue, but there are some precautions you can take to help prevent a lice infestation. Schools and daycares are a petrie dish of stuff that your child can come home with. Hopefully you can take these prevention methods and avoid her bringing bugs home!
Essentials for Your Lice Prevention Tool Kit
Sharing is not caring
We all want our kids to learn how to share. What we don’t think about is to tell them what not to share. This is a very easy way for lice to spread! No one wants to share lice. While you are teaching your kids to share, be sure to tell them not to share things that they use on their head. Combs, brushes and hair clips are all things that they can be stingy with. Also, hats and bike helmets should not be shared. A couple things I never thought about not sharing (well in terms of lice) are towels and earbuds or headphones. You don’t really want to share those anyways, for other sanitary reasons, but they could also be a transfer station for lice.
Keep your distance
Kids love contact. I know my daughter is always hugging her friends and they put their heads together for selfies too. Limiting physical contact is a great way to help prevent the spread of lice. Keeping their hands to themselves will help stop the spread of germs in general, but lice is not like a cold.
Backpacks and common areas
Schools typically have their own protocol when it comes to a lice outbreak, but making sure your child’s backpack and coat are not going to be used as a bus for lice, they should have their own space such as a cubby or locker. Schools these days are pretty good about a child having his own space.
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You have taken all precautions, taught your child to be stingy and selfish with combs and earbuds, yet she still comes home with lice. What do you do?
First of all, treat everyone at the same time. This means anyone with an active infestation. Make sure everyone in the household and especially those who might share a bed, get a thorough check for lice. It might go without saying, but wash all bedding and clothing.
The CDC says that you do not want to use shampoo or conditioner before applying the lice medicine. In addition, do not wash the hair for 1-2 days after the treatment is applied. I would listen to this advice! You don’t want those nasty parasites coming back. So what do you use and where do you get it?
You can purchase over-the-counter treatments at your local pharmacy. Here are a few you can check out:
- LiceMD Lice & Egg Treatment is great for removal of lice and eggs. It is silicone based and contains no pesticides, so it is safe for adults and kids. This product does admit that there is no proof that it cures lice, but it does help in the removal.
- RID Complete Lice Elimination Kit comes with everything you need to rid your child of lice (no pun intended). You do want to follow the instructions to make sure the kit works properly, which means repeating the treatment 7-10 days after the first one.
- Pronto Plus is also a complete kit for the removal of lice.
- Nix is the product everyone has typically heard of when it comes to lice and egg treatment. They claim to prevent reinfestation for up to 14 days. I have never heard anything bad about this product.
Lice is a scary thing. Bugs. I don’t like bugs. Thankfully there are ways it can be prevented and should your child come home with lice, there are products out there to help you quickly get rid of the bugs and their eggs.