Lice! It is an awful, dreaded problem facing families across the nation as kids head back to school. 6-12 million US kids get head lice every year. The cases of lice are at the highest during back-to-school time in September and again after winter vacations.
Everyone is at risk, even if you are a clean, healthy family from a nice area of town. In fact, in the Akron, Ohio area, Hudson, Ohio has a highest level of active lice cases right now.
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Find out if lice is in your area right now here.
Lice at School
School is a breeding ground for lice. When kids are in close contact, lice can crawl from person to person. Lice can even live up to 2 days on items like jackets, hair bands, combs, hats, and toys and can transfer to people quickly. Most schools have dismissed the ‘no not’ rule so kids that have been treated can return back to school immediately, even if they have nits. I’m not sure how I feel about that – it’s good for attendance but…
If there is a case of lice in your child’s school, you’ll likely receive a note or call from the school. You’ll want to check your child for lice right away especially if your child has an itchy head. Check everywhere!
Lice are tiny insects that live on humans, close to the scalp and feed on blood. They appear in three stages: eggs (nits), nymph, and adult louse and can survive up to 30 days on your head. Adult lice look similar to sesame seeds that move quickly on the scalp and hair.
3 Easy Steps to Get Rid of Lice at Home
Step 1 Apply Nix Ultra
There are many home remedies and products for lice removal on the market. The Academy of Pediatrics recommends the pesticide-free medicine in Nix Ultra® Lice Removal Kit as the first line of treatment for lice. If it is pediatrician recommended, I trust it. It is also an effective and affordable way to treat lice in the privacy of your home – instead of a costly salon service.
Apply Nix Ultra solution to dry hair until completely saturated and leave on for 10 minutes. Wash hair with regular shampoo with no conditioner and towel dry. Nix Ultra is effective in killing both traditional and super lice, as well as their eggs (nits) – unlike other brands and at-home remedies.
Step 2 Remove Lice and Nits
After using Nix Ultra solution, part your child’s hair into 4 sections and comb each section with the Nix Lice Removal Comb (included in kit), placing the teeth of the comb as close tot he scalp as possible. Combing will remove lice and nits. Be sure to clean off the comb as you use it on a paper towel. Toss in a sealed bag once done.
Step 3 Control and Clean Home & Personal Items
Clean anything your child has come into contact with while having lice.
- Wash clothing, bedding, stuffed animals, etc in hot water 130°F and dry on hottest setting.
- Dry clean non-washable items or seal in plastic bag for 2 weeks.
- Soak items like combs and brushes in hot water for 10 minutes.
- Vacuum all carpets, mattresses, furniture, car seats, etc and dispose of vacuum bags after.
- Use Nix Lice Control Spray (included in kit) on items that can’t be laundered or dry cleaned. Simply spray the odorless and stainless spray on items like mattresses and furniture from 8-10 inches away and allow to thoroughly dry before use. It is a good idea to spot-test an area before treating. Never use in food areas of the home.
Tips to Avoid Back-to-school Lice
There is no way to guarantee your child will never get lice, these tips to prevent getting lice at school or other group activities can help.
- Avoid head-to-head contact – tell your kids to avoid having their hair come in contact with another child’s hair on the playground, at school, sleepovers, etc.
- Don’t share – teach kids not to share hats, clothing, scarves, hair ties, brushes, or towels with friends
- Keep clothing separate – teach your child to hand their coat on a hook or in their backpack instead of in a pile with other coats at school or after-school events. I’ve seen piles of coats many times at sporting events, after school events, and parties during the winter. Lice can survive up to 2 days on coats and other items and then find a new home on you when you put the coat back on!
- Avoid group selfies – this is especially important for older kids and teens that may not feel like they are at risk since they don’t “play together” with others on the playground, etc. Selfies make it easy for lice to transfer from head to head.
The best thing for parents to do to beat back-to-school lice is to remain calm and be prepared. Pick up your Nix Ultra® Lice Removal Kit ahead of time so you are ready the moment lice attacks. You can find Nix at and can be found at drug, food and mass merchandisers across the country. Sign up for a Nix coupon here.