Nothing bonds a class of kids together like the threat of a lice infestation. Similarly, nothing bonds parents and teachers together like the competition for who gets to do the day’s lice check. We know that lice can be a real sticky situation for everyone involved so we put a list together of great tips for getting through it.
How to handle a lice threat:
Look for severe itching with the students. Encourage your daycare to implement a lice-screening schedule to keep any potential infestations at bay.
The crown of the head is a hot spot for lice. Check this area first. You’re looking for tiny crawling insect the size of sesame seed but grey in color.
If there is nothing on the crown but the child is experiencing severe itching or there is a class threat, check the hair strands next. Nits (eggs) can be found here and will stubbornly stick to the hair. If you can flick it off it’s not an egg.
If you have found lice or nits, be prepared to spend time combing and treating the hair. A high quality nit comb is important. Applying conditioner to the hair will help the comb slide through without tears. Repeat the combing process every other day for a few weeks.
Lice dislike the smell of tea tree oil. Try adding a few drops into your shampoo or mix some with water and apply to the hair. An over-the-counter product will also help get rid of the pesky bugs.
Luckily lice can’t live away from a head of hair for more than a few days. Be extra careful by changing bedding and vacuuming areas that come in contact with the infected head.
If there is an infestation in the center, teach the children the basics of lice prevention. There can be no cuddling, no sharing of hats or dress-up wigs, and no hair brush exchanges.
Remember that any child can get lice, it doesn’t mean that a child is dirty. Have compassion for the families affected because it could happen to anyone.
Based on an interview with Caroline Bonham who has been a lice professional in Ontario for ten years.