When school starts back up in the fall, so do the birthday invitations! And once your child is around third grade, some of these invitations might be for sleepovers! While there are many concerns you may have about sending your child to a sleepover, head lice shouldn't be one of them. Fortunately, by following a few simple steps, you can significantly decrease your child’s risk for head lice.
Is it Common for Lice to Spread at Sleepovers?
Unfortunately, sleep overs are a hotspot for head lice. Imagine the typical preteen sleepover where girls are taking selfies, braiding each other’s hair and having pillow fights. These seemingly harmless activities spread lice, especially during periods when there are active infestations in the classrooms.
Keep in mind that most head lice cases are spread through head-to-head contact, so sleepovers provide the perfect opportunity for this. It doesn’t matter how clean the host’s home is, head lice spread when kids are close. With that being said, head lice cannot survive for long off a human host, so your child is not likely to get them from a blanket or pillow.
How to Prevent Head Lice at SleepoversNo child wants to miss out on a sleepover because of head lice, so you’ll need to have ways to lower your child’s risk. Fortunately, there are plenty. Make sure to discuss everything with your child beforehand so that they can take the necessary steps to protect themselves, too.
Discourage sharing personal itemsLice will have no problem climbing onto a brush or hair tie, so discourage your child from sharing these items at a sleepover. They can still join in the fun by styling their hair, but make sure that you pack them with their own accessories. This way, they’ll have everything they need to have fun without having to share.
Sending your child with their own bedding encourages them to keep their stuff separate from others. Lice cannot fly, jump or hop, so it’s unlikely that they’ll spread to your child’s blankets and pillows. But, this is still an easy way to reduce the risk.
Send your child with their own blanket and pillow
Take a peek each weekEach week, especially after a sleepover, comb through your child’s hair using a lice comb with metal teeth. This will help you identify potential lice and remove them before they cause an infestation. It’s important to do this regularly, but especially when there’s a lice infestation in your child’s classroom.
Educate your child on head liceEducate your child on how lice spread from one head to another. You can share as much information as you feel is appropriate based on their age and maturity level. Giving them this information also prevents hurtful lies from spreading, such as the common misunderstanding that lice happen to ‘dirty’ people only.
If your child does bring home head lice after a sleepover, My Hair Helpers has you covered. We have a variety of head lice treatment products to eliminate lice, as well as prevention products like lice sprays and shampoos. All products are safe, effective and made from natural ingredients, so you can feel good about them, too!