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How to Prevent Lice

Treating for lice is no fun at all. Here are some tips for how to prevent lice so hopefully you don’t have to deal with them.

As if the back-to-school season wasn’t stressful enough, add in those pesky little head bugs and it takes stress to a whole new level. It wasn’t until last year, after 11 years of parenting, that I had a face-to-face encounter with head lice. I vowed to never welcome those little critters into my home again. We haven’t seen them since the incident last year and I give full credit to these simple tips for how to prevent lice.

The back-to-school season is stressful enough. Here are 4 easy tips for how to prevent lice.

How to Prevent Lice

Add Tea Tree Oil to shampoo. If you’re not already using a shampoo with lice preventative – I recommend Vamousse, add a few drops of tea tree oil to your child’s shampoo. Or, make a tea tree oil mixture by filling a spray bottle with water and adding in several drops of oil. Spray generously on your child’s head after shampooing. Since lice aren’t particularly fond of tea tree oil, they’ll be less likely to make a home where it is. When friends and family ask me how to prevent lice, I always start by sharing the tea tree oil trick.

If possible, keep hair up. For boys (with short hair) this could be a little difficult, but if you have a little girl with long hair, keep her hair up. This could mean a ponytail, in a braid or even a bun. Make it as difficult as possible for lice to crawl onto their hair. Unlike many believe, lice do not jump, they crawl. So don’t give them something to crawl on.

Educate your children. Teach them that when it comes to lice, sharing is not caring. Sharing items such as brushes, jackets, scarves, etc. can spread lice from their friend’s head, to theirs. Make sure they know how lice get from one head to the next. Remind them to never have head-to-head contact with their friends at school and that it is best to play at arms length.

Do weekly head checks. Okay, this may not actually be a preventative, but a small case of lice is much easier than a full-blown lice infestation. Pick one day of the week and do those weekly checks. Look for nits on the hair strands close to their scalp. If you see signs of lice, take action right away.

how to prevent lice

I can honestly tell you that when I noticed two of my children had lice, I wanted to burn down my house. I know it had nothing to do with how clean my children were, it was simply a mistake that happened at an end of year baseball party with my kids sharing helmets with other kids. But, it didn’t take away the fact that seeing those bugs crawling in their heads made my stomach turn.

If your children happen to get lice (along with the other 12 million), it does take a lot of diligent work to totally eradicate them from their heads and the house.

There are obviously many products you can choose from, but I would recommend sticking with a non-toxic, pesticide-free solution, like Vamousse. Lice in 25 states have become resistant to the active ingredients permethrin and pyrethroids used in many pesticide-based OTC treatments anyway.

By knowing how to prevent lice and what to do in case of the worst-case scenario, you are better prepared for whatever comes your way.

Have you ever had to deal with lice? Do you have any other tips for how to prevent lice?

About Crystal

Crystal Reagan, the owner and founder of SimplyBeingMommy.com lives in Small Town, Texas with her husband and 3 children. Crystal and her website have been featured on local and national news stations including Channel 2 Houston and ABC News. She has also appeared on BetterTV as a Mommy Expert for VTech.


  1. 1

    My kids getting lice is literally one of my worst nightmares. I think I would have my own mom come down and help me if my kids ever got them. Ick.

  2. 2

    I have never had to deal with head lice thankfully. will definitely keep these tips and products in mind just in case.

  3. 3

    Good tips. The nurse at our school already sent notices out for preventive measures! It’s that time of year again!

  4. 4

    OMG, yuck. Just yuck. These are great tips, though. I saw on the news the other day that lice is literally becoming a super bug.

  5. 5
    Catherine S says:

    This is great information. I remember my mom checking all of us girls when we were in school. My son has a buzz cut so he never had issue when he was in school.

  6. 6

    These are great tips. Lice freaks me out to no end. I cannot think of something nastier. *shudder*

  7. 8

    Thankfully we have never been victims of lice but you can never be too careful. Although helpful, just reading these tips is enough to give me creepy crawlies.

  8. 9

    All this talk about lice makes my head itch! (Kidding) I’ll have to recommend Vammouse to my family members with little ones. Lice has been all over their school this year :/

  9. 10

    Even the thought of them has me scratching my head wondering if they’ve magically crawled into my hair. So awful! I need to keep these tips in mind so I can avoid them.

  10. 11
    Heather lawrence says:

    Even the thought of them makes my skin crawl.
    We added tea tree oil into the kids shampoo and I check them weekly sometimes daily depending on where they have been.
    The girls have long hair so we always pull it up to keep it clean.

  11. 12

    Lice are so icky. A weekly head check is a good idea.

  12. 13

    These are great tips and so timely with back to school! This is a post that should be pinned since I’m sure we will all be in this boat at some point.

  13. 14

    I was always afraid of my kids getting lice from their classmates. Those things seem to spread like crazy.

  14. 15

    I use tea tree oil in my shampoo for this reason exactly. I will be doing checks now that school is back in session!

  15. 16

    It never fails each year I get the letter from the school that someone in the kids class has lice. This info will be helpful.

  16. 17

    We thought my daughter had lice once and I freaked out, it was awful. I had no knowledge and it was terrifying to think it might go to all my other girls too. Thanks for the tips.

  17. 18

    I am pretty sure this is one of my night,ares! I get shivers just thinking about it!

  18. 19

    We’ve never had this problem and I’m so grateful for that. However, I think kids will be kids and much of these things will just end up happening. Education is key though.

  19. 20

    I am so happy we won’t have to worry about lice this year since our oldest just started college, our little one is in France, and we are homeschooling our middle daughter… We’ve always had a lot of success with Rosemary essential oil as well. Lice don’t like it whatsoever 🙂

  20. 21

    This is our first year of Kindergarten and I didn’t even THINK about lice! Ugh! Thanks for the tips I’m sure they will come in handy.

  21. 22

    I think I would cry if my kids got live. I’ve been using TTO in their shampoo and detangle spray for the last 4 years and no love yet. Some great stuff.

  22. 23

    Kiddo had lice so many times last year. It was awful and nothing we tried worked. Essential Oils were finally the fix factor. So, I am armed and ready to go this year.

  23. 24

    I got lice when I was a kid once, it was AWFUL! thankfully my daughter hasn’t had to deal with it yet. We always make sure her hair is up for school.

  24. 25

    Great tips!! Me and my cousin had lice once as kids and as result I had to cut my long hair. It was horrible!

  25. 26

    I have been adding Tea Tree oil in my shampoo for years. It is a great way to help keep Lice away. Weekly head checks is a great way to catch it early.

  26. 27

    I thankfully haven’t had to deal with lice yet with my son. But I’m definitely worried for my daughter, good tips

  27. 28

    This is right on time with all that super lice going around!

  28. 29

    I remember always wearing my hair up at school when I was a kid and lots of hairspray! That was my mom’s strategy.

  29. 30

    I’m going to be adding some tea tree to my son’s shampoo tonight! I never had lice as a kid and haven’t dealt with it as a parent yet but I am so nervous all the time that he’ll bring it home!

  30. 31

    This is a terrible fear of mines… I have a few of these products at home just in case!

  31. 32

    OMG, lice is SO nasty. There is nothing creepier than the thought of little bugs setting up shop in your hair! AAAHHHHH!

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