We all dread them - the unwelcome ‘beasts’ no parent dares to murmur their name for fear of manifestation and infestation. We're talking LICE and NITS! Although modern science tells us that it is indeed NOT a sign of bad parenting or lack of hygiene – these parasites can still cause upset and havoc.
In most schools these days, the primary responsibility for the management and treatment of head lice in students belongs to us parents. We therefore need to be vigilant in checking our child for head lice or lice eggs and to treat all infected household members if found.
Often a recurring and challenging matter, commitment is really required from the whole school community in a concerted effort to treat any outbreaks of nits and to minimise transmission.
Communication is key. As parents, we should notify our child's school if our child is affected (if we choose not to remove them for treatment). Students suspected of having head lice or eggs present in their hair are not to be excluded from class or school, and staff can only conduct a principal-authorised visual check for head lice in a discreet and sensitive manner with no physical contact if they suspect a child has lice/nits, so the onus is on every family to manage and control their situation.
Luckily, these days, the unpleasant task of treating an infestation does not need to be arduous. Often, the distress comes from the nasty chemical smell of the shampoo treatment and the constant lengthy pulling of the hair while combing.
But, there are effective alternatives available now that have a better smell – often made with natural ingredients - and work more effectively.
Teach children to never share their hat or wear someone else’s: Make sure they have their own.
When lice are around but your child doesn’t have an infestation, try a control spray to keep the nits at bay BEFORE they move into your child's hair: There are many natural sprays available which are great (Moov Head Lice Defence Spray is a particular fav in the KOTC/KITC office).
When infested, find a solution or treatment program that suits your personal requirements: There are many out there to choose from – both natural and chemical. If unsure, ask your pharmacist or medical professional for assistance.
Don't get complacent: When integrated into your daily routine, managing your child’s grooming can be suitably maintained without too much stress or worry, leaving time to concentrate on the more important things.
For more back to school inspiration, check out our 6 steps to starting school successfully, 5 easy (yet healthy) lunch box ideas and our back to school guide full of ideas for the new term. Plus download our back to school checklist.