Head Lice - what you don't know and what you need to know!
School and kindy is well and truly back for the year. Whilst we look forward to most things our creative and industrious littlies bring home for us, there is also the less desirable things they generously share i.e. snotty noses and head lice! Nothing worse than getting than finding that letter stuffed into their backpack alerting you to an outbreak of headlice!
A head lice outbreak can send you into a panic and have you reaching for heavy duty chemicals to bomb them into oblivion; but there is a natural solution available which is just as effective- if NOT more efficient at treating head lice and nits, and then helping to prevent the next outbreak.
Mainstream lice treatments are filled with nasty chemicals which can irritate a child's sensitive scalp and quickly absorbed into their skin through the follicles during treatment.
Did you know that a child's skin and scalp produce almost six times less oil on a daily basis than an adult's? That's SIX time LESS skin protection than we have. All those chemicals ends up in their bodies and the research is clear that many chemicals today are known or suspected to be links to cancer, early puberty, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obesity, autism, and other serious health issues.
You can avoid the use of chemicals by choosing to use gentle and natural products from a great company Eco Kid. We are proud stockists of the certified organic range of hair care and insect repellent products. They are free from artificial fragrances, silicones and petrochemicals. They have been specifically formulated so that every ingredient is pure, natural and safe.
Before we jump into the products, here's some interesting facts about Head Lice.
Head Lice can't fly or jump! They only transfer through head to head or hair to hair contact.
Water swells the hair shaft - Head live eggs are glued tightly in a ring around the hair shaft. Lice idealy like to lay eggs in the nape of the neck. Water based products swell the hair shaft up to 30% making it more diificult to remove lice eggs. This is why water-based products are that effificent- they lock the egg to the hair shaft.
Head Live only live on Humans! Not ever, ever, ever on combs, brushes, pillows or sheets. They don't live in dress up boxes or hang out in hats! Lice need to feed every 8 hours or they die.
Clean or Dirty hair makes no difference - the evidence is there- head lice don't care if hair is dirty or clean. So prevention is always better than cure.
So how do you know if you have a kid with nest on their head?
The symptoms are usually an intense itching but can also include
- a tickling feeling of something moving on the head, hair, or body.
- sores that develop from scratching the itchiness caused by lice.
- irritability and difficulty sleeping.
- red bumps on the head, neck, shoulders
How do you check for head lice?
To start, check your child’s scalp by parting their hair in various places with a lice comb. Make sure to check the scalp behind the ears and at the neck! Keep an eye out for any movement in the hair or any rashes from scratching. It’s unlikely that you will see the lice themselves as they move quickly and are very small but you might see the lice eggs (nits). They are tiny white/yellowish eggs that attach to the hair and feel like grains of sand. They are usually attached close to the scalp if they haven’t hatched! You'll know it's not dandruff but nits because nits stick to the hair.
So you've found some of the little critters taking a free ride- now how to treat?
Use the Eco Kid Lice Bomb! It is a naturally derived botanical complex of pure plant oils and essences that aids in the removal of head lice and their eggs. No sulphates, no parabens, no biocidal preservatives, no artifical frangrances, no artifical colouring, no nasties. Of course read to directions before from begging to end before applying any product to a child's scalp; but it's very simple. Shake before use, patch test then massage through! Once a thin film has been achieved on the entire scalp, use the comb enclosed to comb the hair from roots to ends.
Leave for 20 mins then rinse! Voila! All done. Follow with the next steps of the Eco Kids Regime to help prevent another head lice infestation.
How can you help protect your child from lice?
The Prevent Shampoo is a certified organic shampoo, rich in pure Australian essential oils that smell nice to us but not nice for lice! It still cleans the hair and leaves it tangle free too. It is a gentle formulation suitable for everyday use on children 3 years and over.
The next step is to use the Daily Leave In Tonic which comes in a handy spray bottle- so easy to apply. Spray it on to freshly washed hair before combing. This leave-in conditioner again smells lovely to us but not to those nasty nits! When sprayed onto dry hair it also reduces the number of fly away hairs to help stop nits from clinging on. This is also a great de-tangler and styling product for braids and pony tails.
Good luck in your crusade again Head Lice!
We at Eco Child have values aligned with the awesome Eco Kid brand- we are determined that there is a better way to care for our kids's health and the environment we live it. That's the reason we exist.
Check out the Eco Kid range here: http://www.ecochild.com.au/collections/eco-kid