By Smarty Guest Blogger, Sheila Fassler, RN, founder and owner of Pediatric Hair Solutions
As winter approaches, so does the potential for head lice. Lice is common in the colder months as kids spend time in closer quarters, families gather for the holidays, and hats and scarves are worn and shared.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to quarantine your child until spring to avoid getting head lice. Follow these helpful tips to prevent the pesky parasite from finding their way to your child’s head this winter.
1. Avoid Head to Head Contact (including snuggling and selfies!)
No matter the season, direct head-to-head contact is the primary reason that head lice spreads from one person to another. Teach your children to avoid close hugs, snuggles and selfies whenever possible.
2. Don’t Share Hats, Jackets or Scarves
While it is less common for lice to spread through clothing, your child should not share hats or any winter clothing that comes in contact with hair.
3. Avoid ‘Community Piles’
If your child wears a winter jacket or hat to school, tell them it’s best to keep it zipped up in their backpack. If the weather warms up by the time recess rolls around, tell your child to avoid tossing their jacket or hat in a community pile on the recess field.
4. Keep Hair in Buns or Braids
If you have a daughter, it’s a good idea to keep her hair in a tight bun or braid. Loose hair is much more likely to come in contact with hair from another child or adult with an active case of head lice.
5. Use Prevention Spray
Lice have an acute sense of smell. They do not like the scent of mint, rosemary or tea tree oil. It’s best to use a scented prevention product, like Pediatric Hair Solutions Mint Prevention Spray, before your child goes to school, a playdate or a sleepover.
It’s always a good idea to check your children frequently for head lice. I recommend moms designate one day a week, like Sunday nights after bath time, to do head checks. Treating head lice in its early stages keeps it from spreading to other family members and can be easier to treat.
About the Author:
Sheila Fassler, RN, worked as an Intensive Care Unit nurse and a volunteer school nurse at her children’s elementary school. She founded and owns Pediatric Hair Solutions, the only licensed health care practice dedicated to the professional treatment of head lice, located in South Charlotte, Lake Norman and 6 other locations in the Carolinas. Sheila attended Akron University College of Nursing. After marrying her husband, the two moved to the Carolinas to start a family. The couple’s two children both attend the University of South Carolina.