January is the month of resolutions. The holidays have come and gone and you’re ready to get back to normal living, which for many includes resolutions. As a parent the last thing you are thinking about is head lice. Unfortunately January is also a very common month for lice outbreaks. With kids getting back to their routines including daycare, school and extracurricular activities, it gives lice an opportunity to spread. Here are a few tips to help prevent head lice from invading your family this winter.
Don’t share winter clothing. The extra layers we wear in winter are a convenient way for head lice to spread. Hats, coats and scarves are all easy places for lice to hide. Remind your children that they should not share these items with friends and if possible store them away from other kids winter clothing so they aren’t touching.
Avoid head-to-head contact. Lice have large claws which makes it easy for them to cling to the hair of their host. Children with longer hair can decrease their chances of catching lice by keeping their hair in buns, pony tails or braids. Reminding your kids not to put their heads next to their friends heads will dramatically reduce the chances of head lice spreading. 99% of head lice cases occur from direct head-to-head contact.
Be diligent with the use of natural head lice preventative treatment products. There are many chemical-free products on the market including sprays, shampoos, conditioners and hair accessories. Clinical studies have shown that key ingredients such as peppermint oil, citronella, tea tree and lemon grass may all help to fend off lice.
Check your child’s head regularly. Early detection is key to defeating head lice. A female louse can lay up to 9 eggs per day so the sooner you can detect an infestation the better. Go through your child’s hair with a metal tooth lice comb and watch for any excessive itching. Behind the ears and the nape of the neck are common spots to find lice eggs.
Keep in mind that if you do find yourself in a situation where lice has entered your home, professional help is available. Lice Clinics of America offers several chemical free treatment options. Our treatments range from a traditional comb-out to the FDA-approved AirAllé treatment device that kills lice with heat and dry air. Lice Clinics of America also offers a line of all-natural preventative products to keep you and your kids lice-free this winter