Head lice are pretty common over the holidays. Your kids are in contact with a lot of people they don’t usually see such as cousins and extended family. With the extra parties and festivities – all within close quarters – it’s the perfect recipe for head lice.
Not to mention, there’s usually a lot of hugging and cuddling with grandparents, aunts and uncles during holiday get-togethers, giving head lice a direct route onto a new host. But does this mean that you should cancel the holidays? Definitely not!
In the midst of a pandemic, we’re finally getting back to normal. Time with family will be priceless this year! But, you should still take a few extra precautions to prevent lice from getting into your home. The last thing you want to hear when your child returns to school in January is that they have lice.
Here are our best tips for keeping your family lice-free over the holiday season.
Avoid Head-to-Head Contact
The majority of head lice cases come from direct contact with an infected person. While you may not be able to avoid this entirely (grandparents love their cuddles, after all), you can limit close contact. In fact, it might be easier with the pandemic. Encourage your kids to give handshakes and high fives instead of hugs.
But it’s not just the initial greetings that can spread lice. Kids are known for wrestling, taking selfies and curling up on the couch together. When your child is off playing with their cousins, remind them not to put their heads together. (Of course, they’re kids, so you’ll need to take a few extra precautions!)
Pick a Festive Updo
If your child has long hair, give them a festive updo. Braids, buns and ponytails make it harder for lice to get into the hair. Because long hair is flowy, it’s easier for a louse to crawl onto a strand of hair and onto the child’s scalp.
Fortunately, there are plenty of cute updos for the holidays. Plus, most kids like having their hair out of their face when they’re running around and playing with other children. Check out some of the best hairstyles to prevent head lice.
Use a Head Lice Repellent
A quick spritz of a lice repellent spray will provide your child with extra protection. We recommend My Mint Spray from My Hair Helpers. Made from all-natural ingredients, this spray has a refreshing peppermint smell. A few sprays will deter head lice from your child’s head – and it’s safe to use daily!
Be Mindful When Staying Over
If you are staying over at your family’s home, or vice versa, make sure that everyone has their own personal items. Avoid sharing hair brushes, hair accessories, etc. Although it’s rare for lice to spread this way, it can still happen. When you or your guests leave, wash all bedding and linens in hot water to kill germs and potential lice.
Check for Lice Weekly
And as always, check for lice once a week. After your child’s bath or shower, comb through their hair with a lice comb and look for signs of lice. Head lice like dark, moist places and can often be found closest to the scalp, behind the ears and along the neckline. Nits (lice eggs) are usually found attached to the hair about ½ inch from the scalp.
If someone in the family does turn up with head lice, don’t panic! My Hair Helpers offers a full line of head lice removal products that include a nit comb, lice removal oil, lice repellent spray and shampoo and conditioner. Or schedule an appointment at our head lice salon and we’ll take care of things for you!