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Young and Afraid: Tips for Keeping Little Ones Calm During Lice Treatment

fearful young nail biting child peeking through torn fabric burlap

Updated on June 25, 2020

By Lice Technicians, Chelsea Lonergan

Easier said than done but try to stay calm around your little ones when you find lice. They are not usually afraid at first and will take their cue from you. If that is not possible, just reassure them that the lice pro will be there soon and will take away all of the lice.

We get it. Your kid may be itchy and miserable. Maybe she hasn’t slept well because lice are most active at night. Perhaps she saw you cry. Maybe her friends told her she was “gross”. Anything can happen when it comes to head lice! Next thing she knows there is someone there with a bunch of…stuff…and maybe even dressed kind of funny or like a doctor. We know that not knowing what the heck is happening, and maybe hearing the word doctor can be a bit overwhelming.

Sometimes it’s even worse if they’ve already spent the last several days having their hair pulled on. It’s not rare for us to show up and hear a parent complaining about how tender-headed their little ones are. So, to some, we might not only be “doctors” but also “doctors” who are going to cause pain to their already tender scalps. Fortunately, there are some ways to help make sure that little ones stay unafraid of the process. If you worry yours might be anxious, go ahead and adopt some of these pre- and during-visit tricks:

1. Set the tone beforehand

LiceDoctors Technician treating young girl with long brown hair and pink camo pajamas.

If you know your child is afraid of doctors, you can let them know we’re not like the ones they may have encountered. In fact, you can tell her it is more like having someone come to take away the itches and that her hair is going to look really pretty because the oil we use makes it shine. Even teenagers tell us that their hair never looked better. (Talk about a silver lining!). Let your child know that this process will not hurt.

2. Do a practice run

If you are able to, you can coat the little one’s hair in oil the night overhead view of child with long dark brown black hair oily oiled for LiceDoctors treatment.before (which is a good head start anyway!) and gently comb through with a regular plastic comb. Even doing this for just a couple minutes, and letting them know that that will be happening the next day, is a great way to familiarize them to the process ahead of time. Bonus tip: the feeling of having your hair gently combed is often extremely soothing, and may even put them to sleep faster. Make sure that you put a towel across the pillow. Do not let young ones go to bed with a shower cap. If the child sleepswith oil, the oil will help to suffocate the bugs so that no more eggs (nits) will be deposited in the hair. Basically, the oil will break up the life cycle.

3. Let your kids get their energy out beforehand

children bouncing in a yellow inflated bouncy house play room.

If at all possible, it’s best to have any antsy kids play before the appointment. One of the most common issues LiceDoctors technicians face is making sure children try to stay as still as possible during the treatment. We know how hard this can be! Trying to time the appointment after play time can help. If you have a little one who just can’t sit still, it can also help to have her sit in a parent’s lap. Your tech can also work in spurts on the youngest or super active child. She can start with that child then give her a break and move to mom or sibling. Then the tech can go back to the active child and back and forth. LiceDoctors technicians have worked with a wide variety of kids and their distinctive energy levels/ability to sit still.

4. Have a treatshow or movie lined up or give them a toy to play with

A common method of having kids calm down and sit stillclose image of a yellow toy retro antique van with soft focus antique van in background. through the treatment is giving them a toy to play with. Screens are also powerful. In all my years of LiceDoctors experience, this has had a 100% success rate. You can use it as a carrot to be given out as a reward at the end of treatment or you can set up the child with a screen during treatment. Often this distraction is very effective.

If your child happens to get lice, it’s best to call a professional, so that you solve the problem the first time. If you live in the Cary and Chapel Hill area, a LiceDoctors technician will be sent right to your door. With your guaranteed, all-natural lice treatment, you can be certain that your family is getting the best care for your budget. Don’t hesitate to call 919-348-2760  for all your lice removal needs. Treatment is covered by FSAS and HSAs and by some insurance plans. Prices are lower than salon pricing and you can not beat the convenience of lice treatment in your own home!