Lice are very common among young school-age children, largely due to their frequent physical contact during play. And lice can easily spread among children at sleepovers, during play dates, and at school. Here are some ways families can defend and protect against these nuisance invaders.
1. Don’t share items that touch the head. Although the most common way for head lice to spread is through direct head-to-head contact with an infested person, it’s possible to transfer head lice by sharing items. It’s important to teach children to keep their hats, helmets, brushes, headbands, scarves other items that are on or around the head to themselves.
2. Avoid shared spaces. When children are at school, encourage them to not share a cubby or a locker with friends. Encourage children to keep their belongings, including hats, coats, scarves and other articles of clothing to themselves.
3. The “star method.” At a sleepover, it’s difficult to avoid contact between children as they wrestle, cuddle and play. When it comes time to sleep, utilize the “star method”, where everyone is placed in a circle, with feet touching in the center rather than heads. This may help prevent the spread of anything extra that guests have brought with them.
4. Catch it early. The key to controlling a head lice infestation is to catch it early. Be aware of the signs and symptoms related to lice, including excessive itching or an irritated scalp. If you notice your child scratching, do a thorough check to be sure he or she doesn’t have lice.
5. Act quickly. When head lice are discovered at school, a notice is usually sent home to the parents of other children. When this happens check your child’s hair, searching for nits close to the scalp or sores from scratching at the nape or behind the ears. A fine-toothed louse comb can help detect live head lice by trapping them in their teeth as the comb is pulled through the hair near the scalp. Catching an infestation sooner rather than later makes treatment more manageable.
6. Proactive defense. Consider a daily-use defense shampoo to help avoid an infestation before it starts. Vamousse Lice Defense is a non-toxic daily shampoo that kills stray lice 1As shown in lab studies[/red] without the use of chemical pesticides. Used as a replacement for your usual shampoo, it adds no extra steps in a family’s grooming routine.
7. It’s not the end of the world. If lice do take up residence, it’s important not to panic, chastise, or humiliate a child for having them. Although it may make your skin crawl, having head lice is a relatively mild condition that impacts as many as 12 million school-aged children annually in the U.S. And safe, non-toxic products from Vamousse help families treat and defend against these unwelcoming visitors without applying pesticide to a child’s head.
Remember that having lice is not a reflection on a family’s hygiene or housekeeping. Following these tips will give parents an advantage in preventing lice from entering the home.