Tens of millions of school aged children get head lice every year worldwide. To avoid having to deal with this condition, preventing head lice in children is a good solution. But few people actually know how to prevent head lice. Although this is not always possible, of course, we can still take basic measures such as avoiding direct head-to-head contact and applying natural oils or repellents . But there are some do’s and don’ts.
What you should NOT do to prevent head lice
– Preventing head lice using chemical head lice shampoos:
When our child comes home with head lice, our most common reaction is panic, and we would do whatever we read or are told to get rid of it…sometimes to our own child’s peril.
What you should definitely not do is use chemical head lice treatments such as Nix or RID to prevent head lice. The manufacturers of head lice shampoos themselves have told parents they should never be using chemical lice shampoos to prevent lice in children. Why? Partly because it contributes to making lice more resistant to these same treatments. And partly because these shampoos have dangerous side-effects when used many times and repeatedly.
But essentially because these shampoos cannot prevent lice. They can only treat head lice. They are completely useless when it comes to preventing head lice. Just imagine taking aspirin when you don’t have any headache. This will not prevent you from actually having headache later on.
– Keeping your child at home when he is not infested
You’ll think the best way to prevent head lice in kids (even toddlers and babies) is to keep them at home. But this is not realistic, especially for school-aged children, as they will then have to catch up with lessons and homework, and moreover they will perceive this as a kind of punishment for something they are not responsible for. This is why no-nit policies in schools are very controversial.
Keeping your kids at home while you are treating them when they are already infested is a good measure though, until they are cured.
What you can do for effective head lice prevention in kids
– Preventing head lice braiding hair: for girls, braiding hair can be a good measure to protect them from getting head lice. Girls should wear their hair up and avoid close contacts with other kids. This is still the best prevention measure without using any products.
– Preventing the spread of head lice with tea tree oil:
It is a good idea to use natural remedies to prevent head lice. You can use aromatherapy and essential oils such as tea tree oil or lavender oil on our children’s scalps, because these oils will act as repellents and keep head lice away. But because these are natural products does not mean they can be used without caution. You should always be careful and only put a few drops per day on the scalp. Click for more details on how to use tea tree oil for prevention of head lice.
– Preventing head lice using lice repel shampoos:
If you don’t feel comfortable with pure essential oils, you can also use lice repel shampoos, provided they are natural and harmless for your children, especially for infants and babies. These shampoos are ready to use and usually contain enough essential oils to keep lice away.
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