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Back To School – The Head Lice Guidelines All Parents Should Give Their Children

young children sitting next to each other on benches in a kindergarten or preschool classroom

Updated on July 17, 2020

By: LiceDoctors Technician, Margaret Steingraber

Parents should give their children guidelines on how to protect themselves from getting a case of lice from their classmates. Advice varies depending on the age of the child.

Parents, you do a lot to prepare your children to go back to school in the fall. You buy endless amounts of school supplies and clothing. You fill out a hundred forms about your children, meet their teachers, and remind them to wash their hands to keep from catching illnesses like a cold or the flu. Head lice are not always preventable, but you can help to ward them off. Prevention is the absolute best medicine where it comes to head lice, so here are a few guidelines to give your children by age to help prevent an infestation in your house.

AGES 2 – 5:

Smaller children are particularly at risk for a head lice infestation for several reasons.  very young children wearing fairy wings and black costumes kneeling huddled together.One reason is that very small children who attend day care (and sometimes kindergarten) will lie on a towel / small blanket on the same floor with other children.  Their heads come into close contact, which is the primary way that head lice cases are spread. They also share items like dress up clothing and hats.  Put your child’s hair up and out of the way, such as in a bun or ponytail.  Also, use a preventative spray (available from your LiceDoctors’ technician) that contains peppermint every day as part of the usual morning routine.

AGES 6 & UP:

All children should be advised that the most likely way that they will get lice is by hugging a friend or by putting their head near an infested head. Also they should not share items that can physically carry any lice from one head to another.  This includes jackets, hoodies, hair brushes, hair bows, combs, helmets (that have padding), jerseys, etc. Another temptation that has been a recent phenomenon is the big animal heads found in big box stores like Wal-Mart.  A lot of people pick those up and put them on their heads.   Make sure any new or (and in particular) used clothing is washed before wearing.  The last specific culprit that all children should be aware of is taking selfies with their friends. two long haired girls hugging and smiling and posing, heads close together for selfie. Getting cheek-to-cheek with another person also means getting head-to-head with that person. 

Lice are spread mainly through head-to-head contact, so using these guidelines effectively will help your child / children to avoid them.  A preventative spray, hairstyles, and taking care not to share items that can carry them can all help to keep your household from being affected by the dreaded louse.  

If you find that a family member has head lice, do not despair. Help can be on the way with a simple phone call in Visalia or Hanford or nearby areas at 559-785-0994 . A lice expert is standing by to answer your call and to arrange for a technician to be at your house whenever you want her, day or night. Help will be on the way!