Tips for keeping your kids lice free

Published On: Feb 21 2012 04:02:50 PM EST
Updated On: Aug 21 2012 04:09:55 PM EDT

(NewsUSA) - Parents, be prepared when you send your kids off to school -- 85 percent of all school districts report at least one outbreak a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that most of the 12 million cases occur in preschool and elementary-school-aged children.

Fortunately, parents can now help to prevent head lice using natural, safe and effective ingredients. A recent study showed that rosemary, citronella, tea tree and lavender oils were over 93 percent effective in preventing head lice. Daily use of shampoos and sprays help keep the fragrance fresh on the child's hair and keep lice away.

In addition to natural products, use the following tips:

* Explain to your children to never share hats, combs, pillows, ear buds or helmets. Keep long hair up in a pony tail or braid.

* Lice like clean hair -- not dirty! Don't shampoo every day, and use products to coat the hair shaft making it hard for a louse to attach to it.

* Do weekly head checks. Sit under a bright light and comb through tiny sections of the hair -- focusing on the "hot spots," such as the back of neck, behind ears and the part lines. Nits (eggs) will be grayish in color and glued 1/4 inch from the top of the hair shaft. If it is hard to remove, it is a nit and not dandruff.

* Lice-removal treatments are now available that are more effective and safer than traditional over-the-counter products. Enzymes dissolve the "nit glue" so eggs/nits wash out easily and kill live bugs on contact. Enzymes work on the new breed of "super lice" as well. Lice Good-Bye can be used repeatedly, allowing parents to safely remove lice and get children back to school quickly and lice free.

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