The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Mom talking to professional lice remover with daughter watching

Combing for lice to prevent lice infestations is like brushing your teeth to prevent cavities…

You’re a parent of a school-aged child. You’ve gotten the lice notices; you’ve told your little one not to share brushes or hats at school. You may have even purchased a preventative spray or specialty shampoo to help ward off lice on your child. But are you doing enough to keep your child lice-free in the heavy lice infestation that is the local school?

It’s not just public elementary schools. It’s independent schools from small to large, middle schools, high schools, preschools and daycares. Every age group of children is experiencing the epidemic of lice that is currently sweeping through California and across the USA. This month I have seen the most severe cases of lice I’ve ever seen in my career – a 6th grade boy with hundreds and hundreds of lice on his short hair; a 10th grade girl with over a thousand in her waist-long hair.

We’ve seen the trends on how these massive infestations are growing and spreading. How on earth can parents protect their children in this infested environment? The answer is surprisingly easy – but it requires creating a habit – the habit of preventative combing.

Preventative combing means learning a new grooming skill – combing your child. Using a specialty lice comb, one with long, grooved tines to scrape the nits and lice thoroughly off of a child’s head, is the best way to prevent lice from disrupting your world. A minimum of twice monthly combings will routinely remove any stray travelers that have crawled onto your child’s head and stop the runaway growth of lice on your child.

While no method is foolproof, bimonthly combing can dramatically cut down on the chances of an infestation happening on your child’s head. Set the child up with a great episode on Netflix or his tablet, douse his head with conditioner to allow the comb to slide through the hair, and comb away. I’ve had parents tell me that the hour that they sit with their child combing on Sunday nights has become a treasured moment of stillness in a hectic world.

Would you comb twice a month if you knew that you’d prevent lice from making a home on your child’s head?

Melissa Black

Melissa Allen Black is the Founder and CEO of Honeycombers Lice Advice & Treatment Salon where she provides an incredibly clean, bright, warm location for lice treatment. She is also a resource to schools, camps, daycares and other organizations managing lice infestations.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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