I think that there is a word that universally scares every mom - lice. We've all received the warning letters that lice has appeared in the classroom and freaked out as we know that lice is highly contagious and a nightmare to treat. A friend of mine recently spent almost $850 at a shop that removed lice from her children's hair. I couldn't believe the expense! Fortunately, we've made it through several rounds of letters at my son's preschool and elementary school without catching lice. In today's post, I'll share tips to help minimize the chances of your child bringing home lice.
1. Educate your child about lice and how it spreads.
When my son first brought a letter home that revealed a case of lice in his classroom, we had a discussion about lice and how it spreads. We discussed ideas about how lice could spread and let him come to the conclusion that he should not share hats, helmets, brushes, combs, or anything else that could help to spread the lice. (We have this conversation every time a lice notification letter comes home.)
2. Use natural preventative products.
We have been using Fair Tales brand products for lice prevention. We use the Rosemary Repel Daily Shampoo, Conditioner, and Styling Gel. These products use rosemary, citronella, an tea tree oil. They are gluten, sorry, dairy, and nut-free. The scent reminds me a bit of walking through a health foods store in the candle and beauty products section. While I was tempted to shave my son's hair, I didn't want to traumatize him, so we gave these products a try. So far, so good! We are really happy with them. Not only do I like that they use natural ingredients, but my son likes the packaging. It makes a big difference to some kids to have products in cute packaging like this for preventing and treating lice. For instance, my son thinks that the "Fairy Tales" theme is cute and he likes that I tell him that the products are for royalty like him. On the other hand, if it would have been a bottle that had a picture of a bug with a line through it or something like that, he probably would have had a bad attitude.
3. Perform daily lice checks.
Thoroughly check your child's hair and scalp when you pick them up from school and activities. The earlier that lice is caught, the better for early treatment.
4. Keep lice treatment supplies on hand.
As soon as you spot lice, you will want to treat it as quickly as possible. We keep Fairy Tales Lice Good-Bye Survival Kits on hand since we know that there is a lice risk by having a little one in school. The kits contains three steps to treat, remove and prevent. The kit includes a 4 oz. Mousse Treatment, Nit Comb, 3.3 oz. Conditioning Spray, and an easy Grip Hair Clip. We really like that it says that it contains all natural ingredients without any harsh chemicals. While it takes a while to use this kit, I will tell you something that makes me feel a bit better. A friend told me that the lice removal shop that she took her kids charged $200/hour for removing the lice. I remind myself as I am using the product that it's worth a try to treat, remove, and prevent on my own given how expensive the professional treatment may be.
Finally, I keep my fingers crossed everyday that my son doesn't bring home lice. If it happens to your child, please remember that lice has no boundaries. Lice doesn't care about what your child looks like. Lice doesn't discriminate by socio-economic status. Lice is a pest that may hop onto anyone. Follow tips to try to minimize your chances as best as possible, but I'm sending you hugs if your child catches lice. You'll get through. Just start treatment as quickly as possible.