Because you can’t control what goes on at school, or who your child plays with, or whether others have cleared their child, you need to stay on top of the head lice threat to ensure your child or children aren’t at risk. If you are wondering how to prevent lice at school, read on.
Checking for head lice on your child
At The Hairforce we recommend that you stay vigilant. Here’s a handy guide to help you in your quest to identify if your child has got nits at school:
- Check regularly – we would recommend once a week during term time
- Check them additionally after ‘hot spot’ activities – if they go on a school trip, have a sleepover, or go to a camp. We recommend to check them on their return
- If you check regularly with a long toothed metal nit comb and they catch something you will get it out of the hair quickly before an infestation takes hold
- Do not use lice treatments as a preventative because they are clear you should only use them if you find a live louse or lice – they will do nothing
- Advise your children never to share their hairbrush with a friend or borrow someone else’s – and like wise don’t share brushes at home
- Children with long hair do need to wear their hair back when they attend school and play dates – preferably a plait or ponytail plait
- To check effectively use a long tooth metal nit comb and conditioner – we’ve tested lots and think the LiceMeister™ comb is the best – it’s our Lice Assassins weapon of choice
If you want a LiceMeister™ comb we sell it along with instructions on how to comb effectively. Arm yourself with a LiceMeister™ in our Comb to Clear Kit™ and our Comb to Clear Remover which we use in our clearing process. You can purchase all these from any of our clinics.
Head lice school policy
Schools in the UK do not operate a ‘No-nit’ policy. This means that parents can still send a child to school if they find head lice. The responsible thing to do, however, is if you find evidence of head lice that you clear it. This ensures that your child or children are not contagious for others at school. Head lice are not the school’s responsibility but it is rather the parents.
You will be familiar with the school nit letter, warning you that a case or cases have been found in the class. Heed this and check your child when you get the letter. It is in everyone’s interests in the class to be checking. This way the issue can be dealt with collectively and you support and respect each other.
How to prevent lice at school
The best way to prevent your child from catching head lice at school is to ensure that they wear their hair neatly tied back in a ponytail if they have long hair. Hair should then be plaited. This ensures that the hair cannot be ‘sociable’ and easily mingle with another child’s hair. Use clips to ensure the scraggly hairs around the face do not become loose as well. If boys have long hair then tie it back or bun it.
The second thing is to check the hair regularly so ensure if something is picked up it is dealt with quickly before it is passed around the class or friendship group.
Do hairsprays and gels help prevent lice?
Hair products such as hairspray and hair gel don’t necessarily help to keep head lice at bay. It’s also important that you think about the amount of chemicals in hair spray and whether these are good for your children.
Why do children get head lice at school?
Children are susceptible to head lice because they are sociable, play orientated and all together learning and doing joint activities. They are also less likely to keep their physical distance from each other, so close contact is inevitable. Children have the high blood sugar levels lice crave and they are the perfect breeding ground for infestations at school.
Should my daughter wear her hair back if she has head lice?
Encourage your daughter to wear her hair back around her friends and at school. Keeping the hair back will vastly reduce her chances of catching head lice in the first place. Tie the hair back and then plait the ponytail. Making the hair as unsociable as possible is a great way to protect her from catching head lice.
Should I wash my hair brushes when clearing an infestation?
When you are clearing a head lice infestation, it’s important that you consider your surroundings. After you do a comb out, clean all the bed linen, hoover the sofa, clean the hairbrushes and pull all the hairs off of the hair bands and bin those hairs.
Do I need to spray my furniture to kill lice?
No, you do not need to spray your furniture to kill head lice. Head lice cannot live on or in inanimate objects. Simply wipe them over or give them a good hoover.
Should I throw away my pillows after an infestation?
There is no need to throw away your pillows because head lice cannot live in them. Head lice need human blood to survive. They may however be sitting on them. This is why, at The Hairforce, we recommend that you give a child clean bed sheets and pillowcases after treatment.
If we have head lice should I bag up my children’s soft animals?
Head lice can live for up to 48 hours off the head before they need a blood meal from someone’s scalp. If your child has a favourite toy they sleep with or just carry around then it is feasible that a louse could crawl off and sit on the stuffed toy. Hoover the toys or put them in a plastic bag for 48 hours or until your child is totally clear.
If you find head lice or nits in your child’s hair, get clearing or get them into one of our Hairforce clinics. Once the head lice infestation is removed, your children can go straight back to school.
After the first appointment with The Hairforce your child will no longer be infectious to anyone around them. We essentially remove all the head lice and all the visible eggs. It is essential to remove both the lice and the eggs. This is because, if any lice are left in the hair, they can continue to lay eggs and if any eggs are left in the hair, they have the likelihood of hatching.
Once this is done two things are important to do. First, they must wear their hair back to ensure they do not pick up anything again from their school friends. Second, you need to bear in mind that when head lice lay their eggs, they lay invisible sacks of liquid. This means that there will be more eggs coming through in the days following the clear out.
At The Hairforce we would see you again, seven days later, to remove those eggs coming through.
Learn about ways to prevent lice at school by contacting one of our head lice experts now.