Preventing Back-to-School Lice

My 6-year-old daughter goes back to school tomorrow, and just thinking about lice has been making my head itchy. So far, our family has escaped it and I consider myself extremely lucky. The school nurse has always begged parents not to make too big deal about lice—after all, it’s not helpful to freak kids out about catching it—but I have been know to utter the words My. Worst. Nightmare. I still remember getting lice as a kid and sitting with my head down on the table for hours as my mother (bless her) nit-picked with a fine-tooth comb. I’m feeling itchy again.

Convinced that my luck may be running out, I am going to be proactive this year. I’ve been hearing more about the Fairy Tales Hair Care line of Rosemary Repel products, which contain rosemary and citronella oils that reportedly keep lice from wanting to camp out on your child’s head. A study conducted by the non-profit organization Lice Solutions Resource found that hair treated with the Leave-In Conditioning Spray repelled 92% of live lice. The company says that using several of the products together (shampoo, conditioner, spray, gel) increases the effectiveness. The products definitely have a loyal following among moms who are willing to do anything to avoid an infestation.

“When my daughter, Grace, was in kindergarten last year, a friend of mine told me don’t start school without Fairy Tales—and Grace never got lice even though there were repeated outbreaks in her class,” says Terri Pitts, of New York City. Pitts sprays the base of Grace’s neck and behind her ears every morning (“It’s like sunscreen—she knows this is part of the routine”) and has even brought her bottle to school to spray other kids. My own daughter is very sensitive to smells, but she doesn’t seem to mind the rosemary scent of the spray—so I’m ready to start spritzing.

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  1. by Bethany

    On September 22, 2011 at 12:05 am

    We had lice when I was 8 months pregnant — will do ANYTHING to not have it again! Have you heard that tea tree oil works to repel lice? That is what we are trying right now….