The clinic is busy this time of year!
We become the most popular place you don’t really want to go.
We are, of course, talking about lice. The kids are heading back to school and head lice cases are common especially with school age children.
Head lice are nothing to panic about and you don’t need to let the possibility of an infestation ruin how cute all the kids are with their new clothes and backpacks. Making new friends and seeing classmates from last year is far more important than trying to make absolutely certain that your child does not get lice.
However, there are a few things you can keep in mind at the beginning of the school year. Prevention of head lice is not foolproof, but there are a few things you can do without needing to be paranoid. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a plan filed away just in case your child ends up with a case.
Have a Plan
The plan can be simple. In fact, there is no need for anything complicated, but just having a plan can make dealing with lice better for you and others at your school.
Step 1) The first step is always to remember not to panic! Head lice are a nuisance (although there is a quick and effective way to deal with them now), but they don’t cause disease and are nothing to be ashamed of.
The CDC reminds us that head lice are spread mostly through head to head contact so, “Getting head lice is not related to cleanliness of the person or his or her environment.” If your child gets head lice it does not reflect on your parenting. AND if someone else’s child has head lice, it does not reflect poorly on their parents or environment.
Step 2) Find out what your school’s policy is for dealing with head lice. Just keep the plan on file so that you have it if you need it.
Step 3) Know which personnel to inform at your child’s school in the event of an infestation. The faster the school is informed the better the case can be contained so have the email addresses or phone numbers ready to go.
Step 4) Explain to your child how lice spread. There is a good chance that your child will act like a kid and not think about lice while they are playing at recess, but this step will help you feel better! And really, while it is good for children to know not to share hair accessories or hats, I know I would rather just let my child act like a kid.
It is possible to totally prevent head lice…but it involves shaving off all the hair on your child’s head, including their eyebrows!
A total head shave is too extreme for most parents, but there are a few other things you can do. Keeping long hair pulled back goes a long way for prevention. Head lice need to stay on human hair close to the scalp to survive. They cannot fly or jump, but they do crawl.
Almost always, head lice are spread when the hair of an infested person comes into contact with the hair of someone else. Yes, it is possible to get lice in a few other ways (hats, combs, etc.), but it is almost always direct hair to hair contact. So making hair to hair contact less likely is a great form of prevention.
In addition to keeping hair short or pulled back, there are a few products that aid in prevention. The Lice Clinics of America sell a shampoo, conditioner, and spray that use essential oils that lice don’t like. These products make it less likely for lice to move to your child’s hair. They do not treat an active infestation.
Lice Treatment Plan
The last step in getting ready for school and dealing with lice is to have a treatment plan for what you will do if your child gets lice. You can try treating the lice at home with over the counter products or natural at home remedies. However, the Lice Clinics of America has a quick, effective, and safe treatment system.
Find the nearest clinic and save the phone number in your phone so you are ready in case you need treatment. The treatment takes 90 minutes or less and kills live lice AND eggs without the use of any harmful chemicals. There is no need to stumble through home treatments that may or may not work when you can have a professional get it done with guaranteed results.
Make your plan, consider prevention, and save the number of your nearest Lice Clinics of America treatment center. Then enjoy your children at this adorable age heading back to school one year older!