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10 Tips to Prevent and Avoid Getting Head Lice

10 Tips to Prevent and Avoid Getting Head Lice

According to CDC Head Lice Information,

an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age. (Source: CDC)

We have put together a top 10 list of tips that will help you prevent and avoid head lice this season…

1. Don’t Share Items That Touch the Head

To minimize the possibility of getting lice, try your best to not share items that come into contact with hair or the head. Try not to share things like:

  • Combs/brushes
  • Hair accessories
  • Towels
  • Scarves
  • Hats/Helmets

2. Don’t Lend Earbuds/Headsets

It’s true, lice can only live on the human head. But, lice can survive for short amounts of time on hard plastic like headphones or earbuds. This leaves them enough time to crawl on to your head and find themselves a home. So the lesson here is to not share earbuds or any types of headsets.

3. Reduce Head-to-Head Contact

When children play, normally and naturally, they may put their heads together. If the friend that your child is playing with has lice, your child may end up coming home with it too. Ask your child to stay away from games and activities that might involve head-to-head contact. The same principle should be applied to adults, especially those who work with children.

For those with long hair, it is recommended that you keep your hair braided or in a ponytail.

4. Separate Personal Items

Shared spaces can be great places for lice to be transferred from head-to-head or from clothing-to-clothing. Closets and lockers can be a great chance for lice to travel from one person’s belongings to another’s. Tell your child to keep their items out of common areas. Adults should do so too.

5. Avoid Couches in Common Areas

It might be comfortable to sit in the couch at your local library, but in truth, you will never know who sat there before you. Lice and nits can survive for approximately 48 hours on certain types of furniture. It is better to sit on plastic chairs where there is a smaller chance of lice being there.

6. Launder Your Clothing

If you are concerned that you have been near someone who has lice, laundering your clothing is a great solution. Lice die when they are heated to temperatures greater than 128.3°F (53.5°C) for 5 minutes. Put your clothing in the washer and use water that is 130°F (54.4°C) or hotter. Also, dry them on high heat. If you can’t wash an item, don’t worry. Just put it in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for 3 weeks.

7. Be Aware

Look out for lice in your child’s hair if there have been cases of lice in the child’s school or places that they go to. Also, it is recommended that you check them regularly.

8. Know the Symptoms and What to Look for

For your own understanding, look at pictures of lice and nits so you can know what to look out for. Nits are often confused with dandruff so it’s good to know the difference. If your child is complaining of an itchy scalp or has small red bumps on the head or neck, chances are that they might have lice. But remember to never panic.

9. Clean Things That Regularly Touch the Head

It is good to regularly clean things that often touch the head such as car seats, earbuds and headphones, pillows and more.

10. Review the Tips

Be sure to review these 10 tips with your child before they go to places like school field trips, camping and generally places where there are a lot of people.

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