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Four Things to Talk to Your Kids About When There's a Lice Breakout at School

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If there has been some talk of a lice breakout at school, you need to talk to your kids about how to avoid head lice. First, you need to talk to your kids about why they don't want lice in the first place. It's itchy, they'll have to go to the doctor for treatment, and they will have to wash their bedding every morning to ensure that the lice doesn't spread. Once you've talked to your kids about why lice is so annoying, you will want to talk to them further about these four things:

  1. Not Sharing: This goes against everything you have taught your kids about sharing. You need to talk to them about not sharing anything that is used on the head. Your kids need to know that they should not be sharing their hat, hooded sweatshirt, hairbrush, or hair accessories. 
  2. Avoiding Head-to-Head Contact: When there are cases of lice at the school, you need to talk to your kids about keeping their heads to themselves. This means not hugging other kids, playing with other kids hair, which is something that girls tend to do, and no sitting head-to-head while talking to each other. If your kids are worried about hurting others feelings by not giving them hugs, teach them how to handle it properly. Since the school has had a recent outbreak of lice, have your child remind other kids of that, which is a good reminder for those other kids to take precautions as well. 
  3. Storing Their Belongings: Anything that your child needs to store away while at school has to be in their own locker or cubby. They should not be sharing these storage areas with other kids, especially when storing their clothing during P.E. 
  4. Checking for Lice: Signs of lice aren't so obvious at first. In fact, the itchiness can occur up to six weeks after they have landed on your child's head. This is why it's important to talk to your child about checking their heads for lice before going to bed. You will notice the lice if you separate the hair so that you can see your child's scalp. They are usually white and you can see them easily because they aren't too small. If you notice lice, you need to keep your child home from school and take them to the doctor to talk about treatment. 

When you know these four things to talk to your kids about, you can be sure that both you and your child are on the same page about preventing lice