School uniform? Check. New lunchbox? Check. Fluffy pencil case stuffed with smelly/sparkly/neon-coloured pens and pencils? Check. Headlice prevention? Well, probably not, but if all parents invested in some headlice-repellent products when it's time to send the kids back to school, I'm sure the little critters wouldn't have us all pulling our hair out (almost literally - those nit combs aren't very hair-friendly !) trying to keep our kids' heads nit-free.
I always keep a box of headlice treatment in the bathroom cabinet just in case (it's always on a Sunday night when the shops are closed that someone utters those dreaded words, "Mum, my head's itching" !) but prevention is better than cure. Vosene, well known for (amongst other things) their nit-busting hair care products, sent us through a couple of products to help keep the little critters at bay.
Vosene have a range of dedicated children’s hair products called the ‘Squeaky Clean’ range, that is specially designed for back to school and contains all natural ingredients (hair heroes tea tree, citronella and lemon eucalyptus) in order to keep head lice at bay, but also remain friendly to your little ones' sensitive scalps. The Madhouse kids loved the cute packaging and, surprisingly (for me, because I remember the stinky medicated shampoos of my 70's childhood !), the smell. What we love about both the 3-in-1 Shampoo (RRP £2.54 for 250ml) and the Conditioning Defence Spray (RRP £2.54, 150ml) is that they aren't just nit-busters - they also look after your hair, leaving it soft, shiny and tangle-free.
Headlice is still quite a taboo subject - there's still a stigma about it meaning you're dirty and people are embarrassed about buying the products - so I thought I'd partake in a little myth-busting, along with Vosene.
A few things you didn’t know – or perhaps didn’t want to know ! – about head lice
1. In any given year, it’s thought that around one third of UK school children under 16 will be infested with Pediculus Humanus Capitis (that’s the scientific name for the common head louse).
2. Head lice infestation is so widespread it is thought to be the most communicable health problem suffered by children, after the common cold.
3. In the US, head lice are responsible for as many as 12 million painful, itchy scalps every year.
4. Although statistics show that young people are most at risk of suffering from a head lice infestation, older people can be just as susceptible to catching them.
5. People often think that the itchiness of infestation is due to biting as the nasty critters feed off your blood. But this is incorrect – the irritation is actually an allergic reaction to head louse saliva and other unpleasant substances.
6. It takes the body between four and six weeks to develop this immunosensitivity to the saliva. So you could have lice for all that time and not know.
7. Females typically only need to mate once in their lifetime to produce all of their eggs. One mature female louse can lay three to four eggs per day or 90-120 eggs per month. Now that’s a lot of eggs.
8. Contrary to popular belief humans can’t catch head lice from animals. This is a completely different type of lice.
9. Head lice can’t jump. But it is possible that lice can sometimes be flicked away from the teeth of a comb by static electricity. Wowsers.
10. Head lice inspired/invented the Mohawk. Shaving the top of the neck and head above and behind the ears was a popular method of preventing the transmission of head lice amongst tribes in Africa, Asia and America.
OK, time to stop nit-picking and start fighting off the headlice rather than dealing with them once they're there !
To join the fight against head lice and be in with the chance to win 1 of over 5,000 Vosene Kids Squeaky Clean mini sets and some great prizes, visit www.vosenekids.co.uk/back-to-school.
Vosene Kids is also supporting parents with any queries about helping prevent head lice as part of the family’s hair care routine. Simply ask a question on Twitter or post a question on Facebook using #AskVoseneKids.
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.