Your kids can pick up all kinds of things at school. Colds and sniffles are one thing, but what do you do when your child comes home and announces there’s been a lice outbreak?
Before you freak out, remember lice are completely treatable. You can get rid of these nasty bloodsuckers.
Lice outbreaks in school are common. Knowing how to deal with these yucky bugs is important for everyone with school-age kids. It’s not pleasant, but it’s not a big deal. You can cope with this. We promise.
Does Your Daughter Have Lice? How to Check
Head lice spread by head-to-head contact. It is more likely to happen when children share hairbrushes, hats, scrunchies, and barrettes. Lice can also spread through shared bedding, towels, and clothing.
Here’s how to check for them:
- Wash your daughter’s hair.
- Use a fine-toothed comb or a nit-picker to check for nits. Check around the ears, the nape of the neck, and close to the scalp.
- If you see nothing, wipe the comb on a white paper towel. If you see brown spots that move, they’re probably lice.
First Things First
The experts at HeadLice911 recommend these three steps as soon as you discover head lice.
1. Strip the bed of sheets, stuffed animals, and blankets. Put them in the dryer on high for 30 minutes.
2. Use a lint roller on headrests of fabric chairs and couches. You can also vacuum. Do the same in your car and the kid’s car seats.
3. Put hairbrushes, combs, and hair ties in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. Leave overnight. You can also boil them, but the plastic parts may melt.
How to Get Rid of Lice
Once you find the lice, act quickly to get rid of them. You can buy lice removal products at the drugstore or farm supply store. Make sure the product you buy is for human head lice. Apply it according to the directions.
Hire Someone to Do It for You
Does the idea gross you out so much you don’t think you can deal with it? Are you concerned you won’t do a good job and get rid of them permanently? You’re not alone. There are lice removal experts who will come to your house and get rid of them.
You can find these lice experts easily by looking online. A classmate’s parents or your child’s school might have a service they can recommend. Some operate 24-7, so you can deal with the lice no matter when you find them.
If Your Child Doesn’t Have Lice
If you don’t find any lice, you’re in luck. Prevent an infestation by following these tips:
- Tell your children not to share hats, scrunchies, helmets, hairbrushes, earbuds, or anything else that touches their heads.
- Check your daughter’s hair for lice once a week.
- Spray a lice repellent on your daughter’s hair until the school infestation is over.
What Are Super Lice?
All right, things are going to get a little grosser now. If you’re not lucky, your child could end up with what’s called super lice.
What are they? Super lice are head lice that have genetically mutated to become resistant to traditional treatment products. Experts estimate super lice are now present in more than 40 states in the US.
If you have super lice that don’t respond to over-the-counter treatment, you have two choices. You can call a professional lice remover or get a doctor’s prescription for a stronger medication.
Should My Daughter Go Back to School?
Your daughter can go back to school once you’ve treated the lice. She may still have some redness and scratching, but that will stop.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school. They can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after treatment has begun. Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice.“
A lice infestation isn’t fun, but you and your family can deal with it quickly and easily.