Each year, millions of children are affected by head lice. Head lice are extremely common and have nothing to do with being clean or dirty. These pests are common among children because they spend a lot of time together in close quarters, such as at school and daycare. They’re also more likely to share personal accessories like combs, brushes, hats and other objects.
Schools and daycares put a lot of effort into creating and enforcing head lice policies, but they can’t do it alone. In order to have a handle on lice, it’s important for parents to communicate when their children have lice. It’s also important for children to be treated as soon as possible with an appropriate lice treatment for kids.
If your child is currently enrolled in daycare, here’s everything you need to know about protecting them from head lice.
Learn About the Head Lice Policy
When enrolling your child in daycare, a head lice policy is one of the top things you should inquire about. If you haven’t yet, it’s never too late to ask! No-nit policies have been discontinued in most schools and daycares because they are ineffective. But, your child’s daycare facility will still have some protocols in place.
Generally speaking, the daycare facility will notify you if your child has head lice. Your child can likely finish out the day, but they won’t be able to return until you remove the lice with a nontoxic lice treatment. Once you apply the treatment, your child can go back to daycare. The facility will also likely send a letter home to the parents.
Additional questions to ask your child’s daycare facility are:
- The process by which information is communicated to parents
- The precise steps the daycare will follow when head lice is identified
- The screening protocols to prevent head lice outbreaks
How to Prevent Head Lice in Daycares
Preventing head lice in daycares takes a village. Daycare is the place where children under five spend a lot of their time, and they’re often sharing their personal space with other youngsters. This makes it easy to spread head lice. Some ways to stop the spread are:
- Tie your child’s hair up in a bun or braid to keep lice away
- Use a lice spray that repels head lice using natural scents like peppermint, spearmint or rosemary
- Comb through your child’s hair with a lice comb once a week
- Notify the daycare if your child has lice or has been exposed to lice
- Be aware of the signs of head lice, such as itching, sores on the head, trouble sleeping, irritability and a tickling sensation in the hair
- Suggest bringing in a head lice expert who can screen children at the daycare
Head lice and children go together, so eliminating lice from schools and daycares is not possible. However, you can slow the spread and protect your child from head lice by communicating with the school and following the recommended prevention methods. If your child does end up with head lice, you can order a safe, effective head lice treatment from My Hair Helpers.