Updated on October 2, 2019
- ✓ Backpack – Check!
- ✓ Sleep routine reset – Check!
- ✓ New school clothes – Check!
- ✓ ✓ ✓ Classroom supplies, gluesticks, notebooks, apple – Check! Check! Check!
- ✓ Cute 1st Day Facebook photo – Check!
- ✓ Head lice – Chee… Wait, WHAT??!?
It’s the new school year, you’ve prepared for everything... except head lice!
IS there a way to prepare? Yes. Somewhat.
We don’t like to think about it, but head lice is just an unfortunate reality for families with school children. It’s one of those things that parents dread. It feels like a terrible lottery and every year that your child makes it through the school year without lice feels like a Powerball win. But the truth is, “back to school” season is also the return of “head lice season”.
Besides crossing your fingers, fervent prayers, or hunting for four-leaf clovers, there ARE things you can do to increase your chances of making it through this school year without head lice.
There are basically two* main things you can do to reduce the risk of contracting head lice.
Adjust their social interactions. Talk with your child about how head lice is spread. Caution them about changing the way they participate in common head lice high-risk behaviors:
- head-to-head contact, including hugs and cell phone selfies
- sharing head adjacent items like hats, headphones, brushes and hair accessories
Make their hair less hospitable to head lice. Counter-intuitively head lice actually prefer loose clean hair. Their tiny claws are biologically designed to hold onto human head hair and scramble between hair shafts like a jungle gym. Anything that makes this more difficult for the lice makes it less likely they will stick around and set up camp.
- Keep long hair styled in braids, buns or ponytails.
- Apply styling products to artificially “dirty” the hair, such as mousse or gel.
- Repel unwelcome visitors with something they avoid like peppermint essential oil.
(hint LiceDoctors Repellent spray does both “a” AND “b”!)
*BONUS Suggestion – Check your child’s hair often. At least weekly bring your child into good light, sunshine or a bright directed light (lamp/flashlight) to check for the presence of nits glued to the hair shaft close to the scalp. To most easily see these tiny eggs it is helpful to utilize some magnification – dollar dollar store readers are fine. It’s possible you might catch a glimpse of a louse but the more certain telltale sign of head lice is the presence of eggs. Early detection will definitely reduce the severity of an infestation and might limit the number of people afflicted.
Part of the preparation for “Head Lice Season”’ is to relax. Take a deep breath and remember that many MILLIONS of children will get head lice this year. And be assured that if yours happen to be among them, you WILL be okay. It isn’t the end of the world. Head lice do not carry any diseases and they ARE treatable. Remember, this too shall pass – if treated effectively! Chemical and prescription treatments are often ineffective and not inexpensive. LiceDoctors guarantees your head lice treatment and can come day or night as soon as you discover an infestation. Technicians are experienced at removing head lice and just as important, putting families at ease. Hopefully you won’t need us this year, but write this number down, 800-224-2537, tuck it in the back of your wallet or save it in your contacts (we’ll understand if you give us a fake name – we don’t judge!). If head lice does come to your home, then so can we.