Head lice is a common occurrence, especially in school aged children. Affected children along with their surroundings must be treated.
Teaching children how to avoid contact with these parasites may prevent an infestation. Here are some tips on how to avoid lice:
- Encourage children not to share items that go on or near their head such as hats, hair clips, hair brushes, pillows, jackets, etc. This may be difficult for younger children to understand since you are trying to teach them to share other things.
- Teach children to keep their heads away from other people. Children like to hug and tell secrets, but lice can crawl from head to head. It's best to teach them to avoid putting their heads against other's heads.
- Remind children to use their own cubby or individual hook at school to hang book bags, coats and hats. Throwing clothes and book bags in a pile with other's items can promote the spread of lice.
- Take precautions at sleepovers by making sure all children use their own pillows and sleeping bags. When your child returns from a sleepover, place your child's sleeping bag and pillow into the dryer for at least 30 minutes. The heat from the dryer will kill any stray louse.
- Recognize the symptoms of head lice which include excessive scratching of the head and small red bumps or sores on the head and back of the neck.
- Familiarize yourself with what lice and lice eggs (nits) look like by checking out some images online. Check your child's head once a week for nits or lice. These can be found anywhere on the head but are often found at the back of the head and behind the ears.
- An all-natural lice repellent can be created with tea tree oil and used as a spray on your child's head. Hats and outerwear can also be sprayed with this repellent. See this link for the recipe http://www.ehow.com/how_2059855_prevent-head-lice.html
For more information about the prevention of lice, visit http://pediatrics.about.com/od/headlice/ht/08_prevent_lice.htm