Preventing Head Lice

Prevention of head lice is a much easier process than lice treatment, and having to remove the parasites which is more time consuming. Head lice feed off tiny amounts of blood from the scalp, and attach their eggs to individual hair shafts, where they remain until it is time to hatch, and the growth cycle begins all over again.

Here are some tips on preventing head:

-Begin by teaching avoidance. Lice crawl very slowly. They do not jump from one person to the next. The quickest way to get head lice is head-to-head contact with an infected person. This normally happens while hugging, putting head together to talk in loud hallways or buses.

-Make sure to keep clothing separated since head lice can survive away from a human host for a couple of days. For example, hats, scarves, jackets and earmuffs piled together on a bus seat can transmit lice from one child to the next. In addition, keep all outerwear away from community piles and do not share hats, scarves, brushes and combs.

-Take precautions at sleepovers. Children must use their individual sleeping bag and pillow. Once your child returns from a sleepover, place the sleeping bag and pillow into the dryer for at least 30 minutes. This will get rid of any stray louse that has managed to attach itself.

-Create your own individual lice-busting spray. Tea tree oil is an excellent preventative, and head lice do not like it. You can purchase tea tree oil, an essential oil in pharmacies. Then add ten drops for every two ounces of water in a spray bottle. Spray liberally on your child’s head daily. You can also spray hats, outerwear, bedding, furniture, and car upholstery. If the medicinal smell bothers your child, you can put in a few drops of lavender or cinnamon oil.