An incredibly common occurrence, head lice can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender or household income. With that said, it is far more common in camps, daycares and school. To reduce your child’s risk, learn the following tips for preventing head lice.
How Lice Spread
Lice usually spread through direct head-to-head contact. They can also spread through secondary means, when a person comes into contact with an item used by a carrier. These items may include brushes, hats, scarves, hair accessories and helmets. While lice are especially contagious, parents needn’t worry about their children sharing a room or an activity with a carrier, since direct head-to-head contact is the typical manner of transmission.
Lice outbreaks are common in schools, and it’s not practical for parents to home-school or quarantine children whenever a new case occurs. That said, you can reduce your child’s risk of contracting lice by employing the following strategies:
- Keep long hair tied up in braids, buns or ponytails
- Use hairspray to keep stray hairs in place
- Add a small amount of tea tree oil to your shampoo
Sometimes even the best preventative tactics prove unsuccessful. Still, you can drastically reduce the spread of lice in your home through early detection. Watch for scratching and regularly inspect your child’s scalp for lice at least once every two weeks. This is best done by shampooing your child’s hair and then running a fine-toothed comb through it. You can also wipe wet hair with a paper towel and inspect it for lice or brownish-colored eggs.
If your child does contract lice, do not panic. A range of treatments are available at your local pharmacy, and there are numerous professional removal services, which can eradicate lice and their eggs from your home.