Kids across the country are back in school and (hopefully) getting acclimated to the daily grind. While you might be breathing a sigh of relief now that you’re back to a steady schedule, the danger of multi-legged and microscopic critters looms large. Thankfully, there are ways to steer clear how to prevent lice and illness-causing germs now that school is back in session.
The deal: Lice are highly transferrable from person to person (not pet to person, thankfully). They cannot jump or fly, but they can easily crawl from one person to another. They can also be picked up through shared items, like hair accessories, clothing, brushes/combs, stuffed animals, hats, helmets, clothing (like uniforms or costumes), and bedding.
Prevention: In recent years, lice have become resistant to many treatments–thus the nickname, “Super Lice”—so it’s more important than ever to do what you can to prevent them. Your child should avoid using anything that might have come in contact with another child’s hair. You can further reduce the odds by not washing their hair too often, as lice prefer clean hair. Get into the habit of using preventive hair products, like the SoCozy Boo! collection, which contain ingredients that lice don’t like, like tea tree, rosemary and peppermint oils. Lice also don’t like braids and other tight hair styles, so this is a perfect time to brush up on your fishtails and Katniss braids. When a child is found to have lice at school, a note should come home to all families in that child’s class. If you receive such a note, kick these tactics into high gear.
Cold & Flu
The deal: According to the CDC, colds and flu are easily spread from a sick person to a healthy one through airborne germs or germs on surfaces. While airborne germs are more powerful, common surfaces like doorknobs, faucets, bus seats, desks, subway poles and countertops can be a germ hotbed.
Prevention: Try to limit your child’s exposure to sick people. If a family member or friend is sick, you might want to postpone a visit. When it comes to playdates, if my son’s friend is at the tail end of a cold, i.e. if they’re not blowing their nose constantly or sound like they’re coughing up a lung, I’m ok with keeping the date. But if they have had a fever within 24-hours or any very recent stomach issues, it’s a no-go. Encourage your child to wash their hands throughout the day with soap – after using the bathroom and before meals is a good place to start – and regularly remind them not to touch their face and eyes. If someone in your household is ill, disinfect common surfaces, like doorknobs, faucets and countertops, to prevent a full-blown family outbreak.