Prevent Lice NOW with Tips from the Fairy LiceMothers!

It's back to school time! That means new teachers, new backpacks, and … LICE! Lice are icky, itchy, and in most school settings. While most children will get lice at least once or twice during their school years, many parents want to know how to prevent lice from creeping on their children’s heads in the first place and then infesting the household. Is it possible? What should you do if your child catches lice? How do you prevent lice? Fairy LiceMothers has the answers.

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How does a child catch lice?

Head lice spread from direct head to head contact with another person who has lice. Lice cannot live anywhere except for a human head that has hair. Lice have been around since the beginning of time and are passed from one human to another.

Why do lice thrive on the head?

Head lice can only live on a human head. They drink our blood and lay their eggs on our hair. Head lice do not travel to other body parts. There are other species of lice that live in other places, but we are talking only about head lice which are the type of lice normally found in schools and other settings where children are in close contact with one another. 

{ MORE: 5 Lousy Truths About Dealing with Lice }

How can they be killed safely?

The goal is to prevent lice, but what can you do if your child has an itchy head and you find lice? The good news is that head lice can be killed safely with nontoxic products. There is no product that actually washes the nits (eggs) off the hair strand. So nits must be manually removed with a good nit comb. The best nit comb is stainless steel with little micro-grooves on each tooth. Once lice are found, two weeks of combing is essential to make sure the person is not getting it back from others who might have it within the circle of friends.

What are some prevention tips parents can look into for school?

Head lice do not like anything mint scented. Parents can use a mint spray once a day to keep lice away. In addition, Fairy LiceMothers' suggests “Once a Week Take a Peek.” Once a week parents should check their kids with a nit comb and conditioner. This way if they find evidence of lice or nits, it will be a very mild case and the chances it spread will be very slim. If you have a girl with long hair, put her hair in a pony tail if lice are reported in her classroom. 

{ MORE: 6 Ways to Volunteer at School (Even if You Don’t Have Time) }

What is the best way to check for lice?

The best way to check for head lice is with a nit comb and conditioner. Use a spray bottle with water and dampen the hair. Apply enough conditioner that it covers all hair from scalp to ends. Use a detangler comb and remove any tangles. Then use the nit comb. Hold the comb at an angle and graze the scalp lightly combing through to the ends of the hair. Wipe the comb on a paper towel to look for evidence of lice or nits. Comb the entire scalp from the top of the hair. Then comb all of the hair over to the right, then all hair over to the left then comb all hair from the underside.

The hair must be combed in all four directions because nits are glued to one side of the hair strand. If you comb only one direction you will never get the nit out on the opposite side. For assistance with this procedure, you can watch Fairy LiceMothers' comb out video.

If you get a note home saying that lice are in your child's school or you get the dreaded call telling you that your child has lice don't panic!  Do what you can to prevent lice in the first place and if you are not successful, you should be able to rid your child of lice safely with a little bit of elbow grease and patience.  

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Prevent Lice NOW with Tips from the Fairy LiceMothers!

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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