‘Tis the season for summer fun in the sun with family and friends! Unfortunately, however, summer can often be the time of year that unwanted pesky critters invade our homes and our heads. In fact, approximately 12 million people every year get head lice with peak seasons being summer and fall. That’s why unDONE Salon would like to provide you with some summer lice prevention tips to help you avoid becoming a statistic.
When playing head-to-head contact sports, interactions can be unavoidable for active kids. However, the Boise hair salon stylists at unDONE are here to equip you with some preventative tips if your kids play summer sports.
- Don’t share helmets during sports activities. If this is impossible, use a lint tape roller along the inside of a helmet to help remove any possible critters left behind between uses.
- Take the time to remind your kids to avoid touching heads with other teammates during huddles and other activities.
- If your child has long hair, make sure to tie it up or braid it back to avoid free flying strands that lice can easily grab on to.
While kids love to make new friends and spend time with them over the summer, below are a few tips to keep your little one lice free while enjoying sleepovers and extended play dates.
- To decrease the risk of transmission, make sure your child brings their own blankets, pillows, combs, hair brushes, and hair ties to any sleepovers and playdates.
- Avoid letting your child wear their hair down as much as possible in high-risk environments. To make it more difficult for lice to be picked up, take the time to braid or tie their hair up. If your child has been infected, this also helps to make it more difficult for lice to contaminate others.
- Make a deterrent spray out of water and tea tree oil. Lice find tea tree oil products offensive and decrease the probability of your child getting head lice.
- Once your child returns from a sleepover, take the time to do a post-check for any signs of head lice. If evidence is found, make sure to inform other parents and treat your child’s hair appropriately to prevent the spread of this unwanted parasite.
Many people throughout the Treasure Valley think that chlorine in swimming pools will kill lice. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Lice can not only survive in chlorinated pools, they can hold their breath for an extended amount of time when submerged. Fortunately, for parents, lice tend to hold tightly onto the hair shaft of their host and don’t easily detached when a child swims. However, the possibility does still exist. Below are a few tips to consider when visiting your local public pool.
- Don’t forget your tea tree oil spray. This homemade remedy acts as a deterrent to head lice and decreases the probability of your child picking them up.
- Keep long hair braided to keep lice away and to keep hair out of your child’s face while swimming.
- After a fun day in the pool, take the time to wash your child’s hair with a good tea tree oil based shampoo and comb it through with a tight comb.
Anytime you share a common seat or headrest like in a movie theater there is a risk of picking up head lice. If someone with active head lice sat on the seat before you or your child, it could put you at risk of picking up a stray louse looking for a new host.
- Use a lint tape roller on the seat prior to sitting down, paying special attention to the head rest. This will help pick up any unwanted critters hanging around looking for their next host.
- Forgot your lint tape roller? Use something like a sweater, blanket or towel to drape over the back of the seat prior to sitting down. When you get home, make sure to thoroughly wash and dry that item before using it again.
While head lice can be annoying there is no reason to panic. Despite the stigma that goes along with head lice, personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home has nothing to do with getting head lice. In fact, lice are often attracted to clean hair because it is easier to cling to the hair shaft.
Below are some additional Boise hair salon tips to help avoid catching this itchy critter:
- Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities.
- Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, women’s hair ribbons, or barrettes.
- Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfect combs and brushes used by an infected person by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5–10 minutes.
- Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infected person.
- If you do pick up this unwanted critter, please, please, please (!) inform other parents/people with whom you’ve had recent contact with so they can treat their hair in order to prevent the spread of head lice.
- Lice hate tea tree oil and tend to stay away from things associated with it. You can make a simple solution spray with tea tree oil and water and spray your hair while styling. You can also add it to your shampoo and conditioner as another way to deter these unwanted critters.
- To help with cleaning expenses and to prevent the spread of head lice during treatment, have your child wear a shower cap around the house until they are lice free.
- Seek professional help. At-home treatments can be expensive and hard to use. unDONE Salon recommends contacting your local lice removal clinic like Lice Clinics Of America for a professional lice treatment.
- Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items that an infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using the hot water (130°F) laundry cycle and the high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned OR sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.
- Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the infested person sat or lay. However, spending much time and money on house cleaning activities is not necessary to avoid reinfestation by lice or nits that may have fallen off the head or crawled onto furniture or clothing.
- Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.