This winter, keep your family safe from scalp-loving critters
We all want our children to make friends, but not this kind — and the chilly season means an increased risk of kids bringing home this unwanted variety from school and daycare.
Winter is prime time for transmission of head lice, as everyone is wearing — and like it or not, sharing — hats along with spending more time inside together in close quarters.
Head lice are all looking for one thing: a warm, head of hair. Easily spread through hair-to-hair contact, these pesky insects are unfortunately very common in school-aged children when sharing hats or even hanging up winter gear beside each other. Catching the first signs of lice is crucial in stopping the spread in its tracks. It’s always possible to have head lice without showing any symptoms, but if there are complaints of an itchy scalp, it’s always good to check.
Checking for head lice can be a gruelling task. Here are some tips:
- Grab a light. Good lighting is crucial. Lice are so small and move quickly, so bright lighting or even a flashlight is helpful to find them.
- Make them bigger. Sometimes a light grey or white colour, lice can be hard to spot, so using a magnifying glass may help when checking near the scalp, the bottom of the neck, and behind the ears.
- Consistency is key. If you don’t spot the lice, it doesn’t mean you’ve gotten rid of them. It’s important to continue checking the scalp every day for up to a week to ensure every last nit is gone.
- After locating the lice, it’s time for treatment and prevention. Head lice can be treated in various ways from insecticidal shampoos, such as Shield’s 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner, to non-insecticides products that can be purchased at your local pharmacy.
- The best way to treat lice is to avoid getting them altogether. Protect your child’s hair from lice with a protecting spray with essential oils that is proven to repel them, such as Shield’s Leave in Detangling Spray, and remind them to not to share hats and other hair accessories in school.