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Lice Prevention

As the months of fun in the sun come to an end, it is time we start to get backpacks ready. School is just around the corner. Excitement of new classes and teachers and friends hang in the air. Shopping for new crayons, notebooks, and folders is fun and a great way to get pumped up for the new year. However, as with most things there is always a cloud in the sky. The start of school also means lice season.

As kid's go back to school there is always a fear of head lice. Lice is an issue almost every child & parent has had to deal with at one time. After a parent gets a call from the school confirming your child has lice, there is usually a moment of panic. Then you start scratching your head...sure you have them too. Buy new sheets! Shave their head! All of those reactions are overkill. Washing bed clothes and placing pillows and soft fabric toys (like stuffed animals) in the dryer for 20 minutes will kill the lice. It is also best to wash any clothing or hats your child has worn within the past 48 hours.

So, here are the facts about getting rid of head lice:

  • Lice can only live for a few hours off of a human host.
  • Passing lice via combs, hats and jackets rarely, if ever, happens.
  • Another myth is that over counter shampoos and treatments don't work. They do.

While no treatment comes with a 100% guarantee, lice are not very resilient. The biggest reason for infectivity of shampoos and treatment are because people don't follow the instructions closely enough. Re-treating too soon can leave some eggs left to still hatch and treating too late means new eggs could already be laid.

It is very important to use the nit comb after treatment to remove the nits. This can be a painstaking process for parents, especially when treating small children who find it difficult to hold still for long periods. So, after treatment, here are some steps to make it easier for you both:

  • Use a good child-friendly leave-in detangler like Original Sprout's Miracle Detangler, to
  • make combing with that small tooth comb easier. Turn on your child's favorite TV program and have them sit in front of you.
  • Provide small breaks.
  • Have a couple of hair clips ready so you can clip the hair you have worked on out of the way.
  • Spend some extra time and care along the hair line, that's usually where most of the nits are found. Live nits are also usually found within 1/4 inch of the scalp.

Remember - preventing head lice can be difficult among children in child care and school. It is no reflection on your hygiene habits or a failure on your part as a parent. There is so much close contact among children that lice can spread easily.

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