LIFE

Expert Gives Back-To-School Tips To Prevent Kids From Getting Head Lice

by Lindsey Smith
Lindsey is from Florida and has worked in online and print media. Her happy place is Michaels craft store.

With the kids back in school, that means the threat of head lice is much greater. I remember how terrible lice was when I was little, and the hours my parents spent combing through my thick hair before washing it with awful-smelling lice shampoo.

Dina Wootten, a lice expert, has some helpful tips to prevent lice, as well as ways to get rid of them if you find them on your child. “You want to always use a repellent spray before the kids leave for school, [either] essential oils or a lice professional spray,” she suggested.

If parents want to go the natural route with essential oils, Dina suggests tea tree, peppermint, lavender, or rosemary oil. “Changing the smells often is very important because they [the lice] become very used to the same smell.”

If parents are lucky enough to have never experienced lice before, Dina has key tips on how to spot the eggs and nits, as just having an itchy head doesn’t mean there are lice present. “The eggs are brown, teardrop shaped,” she said. “Unfortunately, not everybody itches, so what’s important is to do weekly checks on your kids in the best possible lighting.” She also suggested using a professional lice comb.

As for a lice-checkup schedule, Dina said to “make it fun for the kids.”

“Don’t think of it as lice prevention,” she said. “Just hair product for the kids.”

I grew up thinking that lice were attracted to dirty hair, but Dina said they’re actually attracted to “clean, beautiful hair.” So, to keep lice at bay, she suggested adding as much product to your child’s hair. She called this “prevention before the exposure.”

To get rid of lice, Dina said to follow a schedule up to a week with the shampoo and other products. Fox 5 New York suggests daily use of gel and hairspray, as well as blow-drying your child’s hair and not washing it every day.

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