Head lice and how to prevent them

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head lice

Kids will play at school and at child care centres and there will always be those seasons where there are head lice.  Them playing together may lead to the spread of head lice. However, you can take steps to prevent the spread of lice among children and adults. Here are some tips on how to prevent the spread of lice:

  • Don’t share items that touch the head like combs or towels.
  • Avoid activities that lead to head-to-head contact.
  • Keep belongings, especially upper body clothing, away from shared areas like coat closets.
  • Read on to learn more about these prevention techniques and what to do if your child does catch head lice.
 Avoid sharing head-touching items

To reduce the chance of you or your child catching a case of head lice, start by not sharing items that touch the head. It may be tempting to share personal belongings, especially for kids, but lice can crawl from an object to your head. So make sure that you avoid sharing things like;

  • combs and brushes
  • hair clips and accessories
  • hats and bike helmets
  • scarves and coats
  • towels
  • headsets and earbuds

head lice

Minimize head-to-head contact to void head lice spreading

When kids play, they may naturally place their heads close together. But if your child’s friend has head lice, your young one may come home with it. Ask your child to avoid games and activities that lead to head-to-head contact with classmates and other friends. Adults, especially those who work with children, would be wise to follow the same principle. Put long hair in a ponytail or braid. A small amount of hair spray may help contain stray hair. You can also give them a cap, hat or the likes.

head lice

Separate personal belongings

Shared spaces and shared belongings can be breeding grounds for lice. Closets, lockers, drawers, and common clothes hooks can create an easy opportunity for lice to pass from one person’s things to another’s. Ask your child to keep their belongings — especially hats, coats, scarves, and other clothing —out of common areas. For safety’s sake, adults should take similar precautions.

head lice

What to do when you know your child has head lice

It’s not always easy to know who has head lice and who doesn’t. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source, sometimes it can take up to six weeks for those with lice to experience symptoms such as itching. Other times, a parent will notice that a child has head lice before it’s an epidemic. When you know someone has lice, be sure that you and your child avoid touching their furniture, beds, clothing, and towels.


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