September Is National Head Lice Awareness Month

Head lice.  Tiny critters that provide tremendous problems.  Now that the majority of kids are back in school and spending their days mingling with other kids, they’re more susceptible to getting head lice.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.”  Just in time for September, which is also National Head Lice Awareness Month, here are a few head lice prevention tips and pesticide-free products that are available to help your kids combat the creepy-crawlies.

1- The LiceGuard Robi Comb (Retail price: $29.95) offers a unique way for parents to locate and eliminate head lice.  As the resuable electronic comb passes through a child’s dry hair, lice are immediately destroyed and removed.  We asked two separate testers to try the comb on their daughters, ages 9 and 4, though neither had lice at the time of testing.  The first tester and mom of the 9-year-old, really liked the comb.  She shared, “My daughter was excited to try it.  She has long thick hair, and [the comb] ran through it easily (after I brushed it thoroughly). It beats the conventional lice treatment method that I have had to use several times before. I highly recommend!”  Our second tester and dad of the 4-year-old, had a different experience.  He revealed, “My wife tried to use it once on our daughter. She said it hurt and won’t go near it now.”  The comb may be a better experience for kids older than 5, but it’s still a safe, eco-friendly product for kids with lice.  Plus, LiceGuard also offers a non-toxic Head Lice Shampoo that helps with destroying more lice and their eggs.

2- Licenders offers a variety of all-natural products (Retail price $20-35) that include shampoos, combing solutions, natural oils, laundry additive, and more.   There is also an Essentials Kits that includes four products for $65. The company was founded by Adie Horowitz fifteen years ago, after her kids returned home from school with head lice.  Horowitz researched ways to remove lice without chemicals and decided to create her own non-toxic items, along with a special lice removal process (that uses a little baking soda). She worked with a manufacturer to produce special shampoos and conditioners containing enzymes and peppermint oil. Licenders also offers personal home and school consultations with professional clinicians in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and a Head Lice Salon opened in New York City to provide individual treatments. 

Horowitz also shared these tips for head lice prevention:

  • Know the time of year when lice is more likely to appear.  In winter, lice can come from traveling and be likely found in layers of clothes (hats, gloves, scarves, etc.).  In summer, traveling is also a concern along with summer camp, playdates, and hats.
  • Use shampoos/conditioners that contain peppermint since the scent deters the head lice.
  • Throw backpacks, hats, and jackets in your dryer for 20 minutes once a week.
  • Tell your kids to avoid sharing hats, hair-bows, jackets, and gloves with anyone.
  • Check your children frequently for head lice; removal is easier if you discover lice at an early stage.

3- The Facts of Lice iPhone app (Free) from Fairy Tales Hair Care is handy for moms and dads who want to keep track of lice outbreaks in their neighborhood.  We even featured it in our piece about back-to-school apps for parents.  Through the app, receive real-time alerts of local lice issues, report oubreaks near you, read guidelines on how to check for and remove lice, and access a database (organized by state and zip code) of outbreaks across the U.S. from the past four weeks.  Fellow Parents editor and blogger, Diane, also recommends Fairy Tales Hair Care products for preventing and destroying lice.  Various natural products are made from organic ingredients that include aloe, citrus, rosemary, and lavender.

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  1. by Sunil Bawa

    On September 15, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    The most important piece to eradicating lice is using a HIGH QUALITY nit comb, not found in pharmacies. Expert lice professionals do not use pesticides because they do not work (hence why we are in business) and they also are unsafe. If you choose to use an OTC product with Permethrin and it does not work I highly ADVISE you NOT to get a prescription pesticide (Malathion or Lindane) as they are highly dangerous. Lindane has been banned in 37 countries, the state of California and is being reviewed for ban in the state of New York. Malathion also an organophosphate pesticide (DDT is also one) is classified by the EPA as “suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity” and has had serious side effects such as “nausea, headache, tightness in the chest, convulsions and unconsciousness”.

    Lice are extremely fragile in the environment (dehydrate VERY quickly) and cannot live longer than 24 hours without a human blood meal (they don’t live on pets). Focusing on items worn in the last 24 hours, bedsheets, combs/brushes will cover your possible exposure from the environment. Experts believe lice transmission from inanimate objects to be less than 2%. So cover your bases but don’t fine tooth comb the carpet!

    Experts eradicate lice and their nits (eggs) usually in less than one 3 hour session using a high quality nit comb and all should do a follow-up within 7 days. Get yourself a high quality nit comb and focus on the nits – comb again in a couple days. Then follow-up again in a couple days to make sure you have not missed any nits.

    More information can be found on our website: We are trained and certified by The Shepherd Institute.

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