Regardless of if you have ever had lice or not, chances are you don’t want it again. Unfortunately, head lice are extremely common in kids between the ages of three and 11. If you are a parent, caregiver, or teacher of children this age, it’s very likely lice may find their way into your life at some point.
You may develop lice and not know it for several days or more. The nits (lice eggs) are extremely hard to see and don’t always cause itching. While it’s not always possible to keep these mites away, you can take a few steps to help reduce your risk. Some things you can do to help prevent head lice are found here.
Watch Your Head
Lice are unable to jump or fly, which means they crawl onto the body. Usually, the spread when head-to-head contact occurs. This means that you must be close to someone to catch lice. It’s a good idea to avoid any hair-to-hair contact (for example, sharing a brush) as much as possible.
Avoid “Shared Contact”
While there may be a hat at the local department store you would love to try on and take a selfie, you should think twice before doing this. You can wind up with lice if you share pillows, beds, towels, hoodies, or hats with someone who has lice or who has had it recently.
Sometimes, lice can even spread through a brush or comb. While this “shared contact” isn’t very common, it can happen. Lice can remain for a few days after falling off of a person’s body, so to prevent them, it’s best never to share anything that touches the head.
Avoid Sharing Ear-Related Items
While lice aren’t often found on hard surfaces like plastic, but they may hang out on ear buds for a short time. If you want to reduce the risk, you will catch lice, don’t share headphones – ever.
Avoid Plush Seating in Public Places
While it may be tempting to sit on that plush sofa at the library, doctor’s office, or another location, you have to think carefully. Do you know who sat down before you? Lice eggs and lice can live for approximately 48 hours on rugs and upholstered furniture. It’s best to sit on a plastic or wooden chair. Even stuffed animals can be a hideout for lice.
Do Your Laundry
Are you concerned that you have been around someone who has or had lice? The good news is, it’s possible to eliminate lice. They cannot survive when temperatures exceed 128.3 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes or more.
Easily prevent an outbreak of lice by putting your clothing, gloves, scarf, hat, and other items into your washing machine. Wash in hot water and then dry on high heat.
Getting Rid of Lice for Good
No one wants to have lice, but if the bugs do make an appearance, there are countless effective treatment options to use. However, if you use the tips and information here, you can prevent lice in your children’s hair, as well as your own.
If you need help handling a lice problem, it may be wise to reach out to the pros. They can provide even more information and resources on getting rid of lice and preventing them from coming back in the future.