Now that face-to-face classes are back, it’s not just the virus we need to protect our kids from. Here are some tips for protecting them against head lice.
Based on data released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about six to twelve million children aged 3 to 11 suffer from lice infestation every year. This number is nothing to scoff at, especially now that most schools are opening up again and our children are once again more frequently exposed to people outside of the home.Lice infestation is harmful not just because it can cause itch and irritation on your kids’ scalps but also becauseit can cause allergic reactions and secondary infections if not treated immediately.
Now that face-to-face classes are back, it’s not just the coronavirus we need to protect our kids from. Here are some tips for protecting them against lice.
Make sure every corner of your room is spotless
Lice can live on unchecked areas such as your kids’ bed sheets, pillows, mattresses, and other areas in the home like the couches and other lounging areas. If you haven’t had time to do a spring cleaning or comprehensive disinfection of your home, now is the time to do so. Consider enlisting the services of building maintenance professionals to clean your home from the inside out. Not only will you be getting rid of potential lice infestation in your kids’ spaces, but you will also be getting rid of microorganisms that can potentially be polluting your home’s indoor air. It’s a win-win for everybody-especially for the health of your family.
Teach your children proper hair hygiene
Experts recommend that you wait until your kid is about eight years old until you teach them how to shower and bathe alone. Before they completely wean off you in this area of their lives, teach them how to shampoo their hair properly. Invest in some high-quality shampoo and conditioner for kids-don’t use adult products for them because their scalps are smaller and more sensitive than ours, and thus not as capable of withstanding more stringent chemicals like regular shampoo and conditioner.
Teach your kids to wash their hair three times a week for three minutes each time. Show them how to massage the product onto their scalps-gently but thoroughly. Once they get the hang of it from you, they would be creating a habit of thoroughly washing their hair even without your help when the right time comes.
Give your kids their own hair tools and accessories
Consider giving your kids their own caboodles or hair kits, regardless of their gender. Boys would also benefit from being taught to care for themselves and their appearance, and if you want them to appreciate the value of good grooming, it’s never too early to start. Discourage your kids from sharing their combs and scrunchies with their classmates and siblings. Teach them how to say no and set boundaries in that area in a way that won’t offend their friends.
Aside from hair accessories or anything that can go near their heads, the other items that your kids need to avoid sharing include:
- Bike helmets
- Earbuds or headsets
No matter what item it is, your kids shouldn’t be sharing it with others if it’s used anywhere near the head.
Tell your kids to avoid too much head-to-head contact
Hopefully, schools encourageproper physical distancing on campus, but regardless, you can still encourage your children to keep their own distance from other students. Understandably, this may be hard for them, especially when they’re playing or doing schoolwork together, butyou can still ask your kids not to participate in games that will require head-to-head contact with their friends or classmates. If your kid has long hair, you can also put their hair in a ponytail, bun, or braid to keep their hair away from others.
Keep their belongings separate
Small closets and shared storage can also be a breeding ground for lice infestation. Teach your kids to keep their bag or belongings as separate from others as possible, as long as their teachers or school allow it.Ask your kids to keep their scarves, hats, coats, and other outwear out of common areas like common area hooks and lockers.
The Bottom Line
The pandemic has taught many parents that diseases can form at any point, and we always need to be ready to protect our kids from it. But even before any of these new diseases can emerge, there are already some we need to protect our kids from, like lice. It’s not about being paranoid; it’s about keeping our kids as healthy as possible, especially while we’re contending with COVID-19.