It is still just as common today to have a child sent home from school because he or she was found to be carrying head lice. In fact, this event is no less frequent than it was 25 years ago despite overall hygiene and health standards rising. Why this change? Well, unfortunately, it has got more to do with parents and the way they are treating their children for head lice than it has to do with the critters themselves.
More parents are willing to simply rely on anti-lice products to take care of the problem in its entirety, but the unfortunate truth is that head lice will not be eradicated simply by having the hair washed with a strong chemical product. These head lice shampoos kill the living critters, but leave their eggs in peace to hatch in a week or so, giving you a fresh crop of lice to be treated all over again.
The unfortunate truth is that head lice have to be thoroughly removed from a person’s head in order to be gone for good. What most people don’t realize is that strong chemical shampoos used to kill lice only kill the lice so that they can be peacefully washed out of the hair. The eggs still have to be combed out if you want to be free of lice. In theory, you can comb out the egg sacks at the same time as combing out the live lice; the problem with this is that the live lice are, well, alive, so this makes the combing out process not such a fun time. That is the sole reason why lice shampoos exist; they simply kill those live critters so that they can be combed out in peace; no amount of repeatedly washing the hair with these harsh shampoos will fully eradicate the problem. Likewise, essential oils are not the wonder-treatment for head lice that will solve all of your problems.
First of all, some essential oils are strong enough to kill lice; while that may be true, they also have no effect on the egg sacks; they behave similarly to anti-lice shampoos in that respect. Some people prefer to apply essential oils instead of chemical lice shampoos because essential oils are all natural. What many people don’t realize is that all-natural does not necessarily mean safe, especially when children are involved.
Essential oils, and products with essential oils in them, are not tested by the FDA for safety and are not tested in clinical laboratories to prove their effectiveness. For this reason, if you choose to use an essential oil or a product derived from an essential oil to treat your child’s head lice, you are putting your child in danger without even knowing if it will do what you are hoping it will do. If you are really thinking about treating head lice with aromatherapy, be sure to do it with an alternative health professional’s consultation, and one that you’ve known for a long time and trust.
The reason why some essential oils can kill head lice is because they are extremely potent and extremely active. While this might sound great in terms of having the potential to kill off those pesky creatures, the reality is that essential oils, especially in their undiluted form, are not suitable for use on children. Even if you have done a patch test to ensure that your child is not allergic to particular oil, you still should not use essential oils to treat head lice or any other routine problem that pops up in your child’s health.