One of the places where head lice spreads the most is school. It’s not because schools are dirty, and it’s not because some kids have poor hygiene. It’s because there are many kids in a small space, and they have many opportunities to be in close contact with each other.
Whether it’s working in small groups, playing on the playground or listening to a story, elementary school kids spend a lot of time sitting next to each other. Head to head contact is the main way that lice spread – it’s not generally from couches, blankets or other surfaces.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to lower your child’s chances of catching head lice at school.
Apply a Head Lice Repellent
Tea tree oil, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass, rosemary, eucalyptus and coconut are all smells that naturally repel lice. You can reduce your child’s risk for getting head lice by washing your child’s hair with a shampoo and conditioner scented with one of these scents.
My Hair Helpers offer a mint-scented shampoo and mint-scented conditioner that you can use safely on your child to prevent lice infestations. You can also make your own repellent by adding 10 drops of essential oil and two ounces of water in a spray bottle.
Talk to Your Child about Direct Contact
Most cases of head lice come from direct contact. Talk to your child about the importance of leaving space between them and their friends. If they touch heads with an infected child, a louse can easily grab onto their hair and climb up their head to lay eggs.
Last year, schools and daycares were cautious not to let kids get too close because of the pandemic. But things are returning to normal, and many schools are back to the same routines. If your child hasn’t been in school for long, you’ll definitely want to have this conversation.
Remind Your Child Not to Share Certain Items
Another conversation you’ll want to have is why it’s best to avoid sharing items like hats, hair accessories, combs, brushes, sports helmets, etc. The good news is that lice can only live for about 24 hours without a human host. Therefore, the chances of getting head lice this way are very slim.
Still, you don’t want your daughter to borrow a brush from a friend who unknowingly has lice and just brushed her hair! In this case, head lice can be spread to another host.
Tie Back Long Hair
If your child has long hair, tie it up into a ponytail or braid. When hair is long and flowing, it’s easier for a louse to crawl onto the head. Lice have large claws, at least compared to the size of their body. This is why they’re able to grab on tightly.
Keeping hair out of the way reduces opportunities for lice to crawl onto your child’s head. And if you spritz your child’s hair with a lice repellent spray, you can reduce your child’s risk for head lice even further!
Take a Peak Every Week!
Finally, make sure that you are taking a peak once a week. After your child’s shower or bath, comb through their hair and look for signs of head lice. If you catch a louse, you can remove it from your child’s hair using a lice comb. This will stop the infestation and also alert you that head lice may be in your child’s classroom.
It takes a team effort to stop lice! And My Hair Helpers is here to help! You can order our products on Amazon, and if you live locally in southern California, we have home and salon lice removal services. With affordable pricing, friendly technicians and convenient appointments, going lice free is easier than ever!