EXPERT TIPS : ADVICE FROM A SCHOOL NURSE TO FIGHT LICE
28. 03. 2023
Head lice, the dread of all parents.
Even if the subject is often dealt with at the beginning of the school year, these little creatures are present all year round. To give you the best advice to fight against lice, we called on Cécilia Coulon. A state-qualified nurse for 25 years, she has been a school nurse in primary and secondary schools in the Hauts-de-Seine region for 8 years. Mother of three children, she also had to deal with lice epidemics and shared with us her most effective recommendations.
Is there a specific time of year for lice ?
There is no particular season for lice, contrary to what one might think. But it's true that pediculosis - the term for parasitic infestation of the scalp caused by head lice - thrives in communities. That's why it's often found in schools in the fall, since that's when school starts and children return to the group. But overall, pediculosis can occur throughout the school year.
Are children more likely to get lice than adults?
Adults can get lice just as much as children. But keep in mind : Lice don't jump. It requires direct contact. That's why they are mostly found in children, especially small ones, as they regularly play side by side or exchange caps, scarves,... Adults, on the other hand, generally respect a greater distance between them, hence less contamination.
What advice would you give to parents to fight against lice ?
At school, children should be taught not to exchange brushes, hats, scarves... even if it is not always easy with toddlers and coat racks where things are sometimes mixed up, but it is the first and best advice we can give to avoid an epidemic.
The small piece of advice I can also give to parents is to regularly check their children's hair - especially children with long hair. Also, tie up the hair as often as possible. There will be less transmission of lice from one head to another with tied and braided hair.
You can also prevent the arrival of lice with lavender or tea tree essential oils which is a good natural repellent. Personally, I mix it with neutral oil (because it is necessary to avoid putting pure essential oil on the skin) and then I put it behind the ears. To be used as soon as we know of a case in the class or in the school.
Finally, we regularly look at and clean the brushes and combs and we try to have one per person at home.
But when the lice are there, unfortunately, you have to treat them. The best thing to do is to go to the pharmacy and buy products that will kill the lice and nits - the eggs of the lice - to prevent the pediculosis from recurring. It is important to follow the protocol for using the product. It is also essential in these cases to treat the whole family and above all to clean the household linen, i.e. pillowcases, sheets, comforters, but also hats, scarves and coats where nits can nest and lead to a new contamination, even if the child's head is already treated.
Following Mrs. Coulon's advice and to prevent the arrival of lice on your children's hair, we recommend our purity shampoo 3-8 years enriched with lavender and tea tree oil. Don't hesitate to use the other tips presented today to avoid bringing these little beasts home!
Thank you to Cécilia Coulon for taking the time to answer our questions.