Back to school means time to ramp up your child’s immune system. A new school year has your child encountering new critters. Prevention and supporting your child’s immunity can be done by giving your child a probiotic, vitamin D and possibly, depending on whether your child is a “picky eater”, adding in a multivitamin/greens powder for kids (to ensure they are getting their optimal daily intake of vitamins and minerals). The other critter that parents ought to look to prevent is the head’s parasitic critters … lice.
Lice, or louse if singular, is a parasitic insect that lives off of a human host, often the lice will bury themselves into their host’s hair. A louse cannot live for more than 8 hours without a blood host. They cannot jump from head to head, rather they swing from head to head like trapeze artists. They lay their eggs – called nits. Six to eight days later the nits hatch into lice, with a typical life span for a louse being 32 to 35 days.
Lice cannot spread by contact with pets. They cannot fly or jump. Children playing or closely embracing provide the perfect opportunity for lice to spread. Poor hygiene has nothing to do with how lice spreads, in fact clean, nice smelling hair actually attract lice more.
Head lice prevention is not an easy task, but there are some things you can do to help prevent a lice infestation. Combing regularly with a nit terminator comb (available at Head to Heal’s Wholistic Dispensary) will help prevent lice because it allows you to detect the lice and nits and remove them quickly.
Remind your children to avoid head to head contact at school and not to share items such as hats and scarves.
It is also prudent to use a shampoo and conditioner that are not scented, kids shampoos smell like sweet candy, which is more attractive to lice. A good everyday use shampoo that is perfect for this is EcoKid Prevent Shampoo and Conditioner. And a good combination essential oil to prevent lice from migrating to your child’s head is KidsSafe Lice Away (all above are available at Head to Heal’s Wholistic Dispensary in the Kids Section).
And if it is too late and your child has already contracted the dreaded little critters, there are non toxic treatments options. Saturate your child’s hair with conditioner or coconut oil and then place a plastic bag over their hair and tie it so it fits snug. Leave on for an hour and a half. This smothers and kills anything lice, as lice do not breath through their mouth they breath through fourteen holes on their bodies called spiricles. After the bag is removed from the hair, use the nit terminator comb. Wash the hair and then sit and pick our all eggs. You must do this for at least three days in case you miss any eggs because of the life cycle of lice. Then use KidSafe Lice Away essential oil or Solvarome preventatively.
Head lice are becoming more resistant to synthetic chemicals that were commonly used to control them. These products contain pyetroids and organophosphates that can be harmful and have been linked to depression.