Every.parents.nightmare. The mere thought of head lice causes my scalp to suddenly get itchy and my skin to feel like it’s crawling with these creepy crawlies. I feel infested nooooo! They appear seemingly out of nowhere and do not discriminate. If you’re human and have hair on your head, you’re in their sights (shudders). Thankfully they aren’t interested in your pets and more good news, they don’t jump they crawl and are transferred only by direct contact and from sharing grooming tools, personal items or from physical contact. Lice also don’t carry any bacteria or viruses.
How do I know if my little one has head lice?
First signs are usually itching of the scalp or a sensation that something is moving around in your hair. You may also see what you initially think is dandruff, but the flakes can’t be dislodged. Those are the nits (eggs). Unless you have a lot of lice, it is more likely that you’ll see the nits in hair, before you see lice. You may also have red bumps on your skin from lice bites. Be careful not to scratch too much because the bites can become infected from scratching, which may end up requiring antibiotics.
What can I do to prevent a lice infestation?
Although nothing (sadly) can 100% guarantee your little ones won’t get head lice, there are a few steps you can take to lessen your chances of getting head lice…
- Essential oil anti-lice spray
Use 3-5 drops (depending on the size of the spray bottle) of each tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and peppermint in a small pray bottle with water. I use the essential oils by Aromaforce. Spray in hair and clothing.
- Add 3 drops of each essential oil to your regular shampoo for every 4 fluid ounces. You could do the same if you use a leave in detangler.
- Licelogic products, which can be purchased from their website as well as from Amazon.ca. Their products are enzyme based and non-toxic. Have this on hand just in case.
- Super Hero Louse Trap Comb from www.licesquad.com
- Teach your children to not share personal care tools
- Keep hair tied up or in braids or a bun and use a little hairspray to keep hair contained.
- Educate your children on the symptoms of head lice.
- Do weekly checks, so that if anyone comes home with anything, you can catch it early.
What to do if your little one has head lice
- First, if your little one has lice, chances are you do too. Treat everyone at home.
- Saturate hair with conditioner and cover with a shower cap for at least an hour. This loosens the nits(eggs) from the hair shaft and stops the lice from moving around.
- Using a metal lice comb and white paper towels, take off the shower cap and divide hair in to 4 quadrants. Carefully comb through each quadrant, wiping the comb off on to the paper towel so that you can see what you’ve combed out. Go over each quadrant 4 times in 4 different directions (this is very important). The goal here is to remove every single nit.
- Wash hair with Licelogic products.
- Vacuum all the areas where your little one spends time. For example the sofa, textiles and headboard/frame of the bed.
- Wash everything that can be washed, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and put them through the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes. If they can’t be washed, tie them up in a bag and put them in the freezer or sun or cold for 48 hours.
Need extra help?
If you’re in the GTA, here are a few of companies that will help you by screening and removing lice: