Tips for Preventing Lice

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici from freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici from freedigitalphotos.net

The next time your child brings home a note from school regarding the latest lice infestation, don’t panic. Having lice can be a common and pesky situation for our children. Every year, more than 6 million children are infected with these harmless yet annoying parasites. Parents hate the idea of their kids having lice. They’re icky, they’re crawly, and even just talking about them can get everyone in the room to start scratching. But parents and schools need to keep this situation in perspective.

It isn’t easy to prevent the spread of head lice among children in child care and in school. There’s so much close contact among children and their belongings, making it very easy for lice to spread. It is important to understand that it’s no reflection on your hygiene or that of your children, and it’s not a failure on your part as a parent if your child gets head lice.

There are, however, a few things that you can do at home to help prevent your kids from getting lice, or from becoming reinfested with lice. You can ask your child not to share hats, scarves, coats, combs, brushes, hair decorations and other personal belongings at school, whether they have lice or not. Tell kids to try to avoid head-to-head contact at school (in gym class, on the playground, or while playing sports) and when playing at home with other children. Tell kids not to lie on bedding, pillows, and carpets that have recently been used by someone with lice. Also give girls an up-do. Lice love to get a hold on long, loose, free-flowing hair, so keeping your daughter’s hair in a snug braid or ponytail provides less traction for lice and should help her avoid getting them.

Remember that each day brings another opportunity for a new lice infestation. Every 3 or 4 days, examine members of your household who have been in close contact with a person who has lice. Then, treat those who have lice or nits close to the scalp. Routine screening is vital, because you might spot lice you missed the first time around. It isn’t realistic to eliminate all contact that may result in the spread of lice, but you can take these steps to help prevent your child from getting these pesky critters.

Need to schedule your child a check-up?  At Family First Pediatrics, an Altamonte Springs Pediatrician, we put your child’s health and well-being as our main priority. Call Family First Pediatrics at 407-335-4760 to schedule an appointment today.