National Bug Busting Day
Saturday 15 June 2013
Dealing with Head Lice the Natural Way
As a parent, I know myself how incredibly frustrating it can be trying to keep young children’s hair free from lice. An infestation of lice is uncomfortable for your child and can cause itching, rashes, difficulty with concentration and even anaemia if left untreated. Perhaps even worse is the social stigma of having lice – we all know that headlice are a part of school life in the early years, but this does not stop a child being exposed to potential teasing and bullying if that are unfortunate to have them.
So what can we as parents do?
1. First off – prevention is better than cure! Tie long hair back.
2. Check your child for lice once a week, paying special attention around the ear and nape of the neck – this can become a really lovely bonding and sharing time for you and your child.
3. Brush hair regularly – this discourages the little blighters from hanging around for too long even if they have managed to crawl onto your child’s hair.
4. Put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your child’s hairbrush – this creates a daily deterrant.
5. Use a neem deterrent spray – a teaspoon of neem, 5 drops each of lavender, lemongrass and tea tree essential oils, and a squirt of your normal shampoo made up with water in a spray bottle. Apply every morning.
If you are unfortunate enough to get an infestation then here are our top tips on sending those nits packing!
6. It is important to treat 4 times with a 4 day gap in between each treatment – this is in line with the reproductive cycle of the head louse. Doing it once isn’t going to cure the problem however strong the chemical you use!
7. Get yourself a cheap bottle of conditioner and add 2 teaspoons of neem and 10 drops each of tea tree, lavender, lemongrass and geranium essential oils. Apply to your child’s hair and leave on for 15 minutes (this will make it lovely and shiny too!)
After 15 minutes, carefully comb through the hair a small section at a time, being sure to start right at the root, with a good nit comb – we recommend Nitty Gritty’s comb whose long and substantial prongs knock socks off the cheap plastic ones you can get from the chemist.
Thoroughly rinse the hair after combing and spray with the deterrent spray daily.
8. Wash all bedding on a hot wash and check all other members of the family to prevent re-infection.
Above all, reassure your child that nits are normal! It certainly does not mean you are dirty or unkempt and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Simply something to be dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent the problem getting worse.
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