While not deadly, lice can be a big nuisance. In many cases, the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true – it is a lot easier to follow lice prevention than it is to get rid of the bugs once they have found a head to call home. Here is a look at what you can do to practice proper lice prevention.
Know the causes
An important part of lice prevention is to know and understand how lice are spread in the first place. Unlike other insects, lice cannot just get up and walk away. They are unable to fly and die shortly after leaving the host. You can only get lice by coming in contact with the lice themselves or their eggs. This makes lice prevention relatively easy.
Lice can be spread by:
Head or body contact with an infected person. This is commonly what happens in families, since siblings will often play and interact closely.
Belongings that are stored together. If infected personal items are stored in near proximity to other items, the lice or nits may transfer. This includes coats hung on side-by-side, pillows stored in the same closet, etc.
Sharing personal items. A big step in lice prevention involves teaching children not to share personal items. This includes clothing, hairbrushes, headphones, and pillows.
Contaminated furniture. Another secret to lice prevention is to keep the environment clean. Coming in contact with contaminated furniture, like a bed or sofa, can spread lice.
Lice prevention, especially in a school situation, can be very difficult among children. This is because they tend to play and interact in such close proximity, and they have no qualms sharing personal items with each other, making it easy for lice to spread. The best lice prevention you can practice with children is to encourage them not to share belongings such as hats, scarves, hair brushes, hair decorations, and head phones. Also, if your child is diagnosed with lice, help others practice lice prevention by keeping your child home until the infestation is cleared. This will help keep lice from spreading, and reduce the chance that your child will become re-infected.
Lice prevention through treatment
If lice do make it into your home, you will want to follow lice prevention measures to help prevent the spreading of lice to other family members, as well as prevent the carrier from becoming re-infected. In this case, lice prevention comes with a good lice treatment that kills all lice the first time around.
The first step of lice prevention is to kill the adult lice. This will stop them from laying eggs that will hatch into more lice. Next, you will need to remove all the nits. This form of lice prevention prevents new adults from hatching, otherwise, nits could hatch and mature into egg-laying adults, repeating the cycle.
Another must of lice prevention is to treat the personal effects of the infected person. All contaminated items such as bedding and clothing should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat. Un-washable items should be sealed in a plastic bag for two weeks.
The last step of lice prevention is to clean the environment. Vacuum floors and furniture, and cover furniture with a plastic drop cloth for two weeks.