Back to School – A Digit-ill Guide

I am a firm believer in your child getting as many of the illnesses you can out of the way as young as possible – if only to build up their immunity for school. However, there are still things you can catch repeatedly, and I’m here to tell you more. Boots UK have put together a Digit-ill Healthy Guide which has some handy hints and tips for anyone starting out at school.

Digit-ill – get it? Let’s face it, most of us have touch screen tablet kind of things at the moment – how often do you wipe the screen clean? I know H’s one gets grubby to the point I’m almost ashamed. Those germs! This has certainly made me be a little more conscious where I could be making more of an effort.

Boots Digit-ill guide

Here are our (non digit-ill) additional ones:

Last year at H’s school there were three big things which spread around – headlice, threadworm and verrucas.

Headlice, we’ve covered so many times on here already, but it’s all about being sensible. We’ve found Tea Tree helps keep them away, with various types of creams to get rid of them. A comb through at hairwash time, and a comb through with an electric comb in between helps a lot. They’re horrible little things and anyone who gets them has my sympathy.

Threadworms are awful. Even if you don’t think you have it, if your child catches it (and it’s VERY contagious) you have to take the medicine. This is a medicine which doesn’t agree with me at all, and made me quite ill. One preventative measure is to keep washing your hands at every available opportunity (and of course to wash all clothes and bedding well!) – we bought H a Method Mickey Mouse soap to make sure she remembered, which worked. That and having a scrubbing brush handy, and keeping nails short. Boots also have a great pump for cleaning hands when you don’t have any soap near you (like when you’re out and about).

Verrucas are a less common one, but still crop up. H caught hers at swimming, and we were able to successfully Bazooka it over three months – but it didn’t occur to me that children will do PE barefoot at school occasionally, so I didn’t let them know. If your child has a verruca, make sure you let the teacher know, if only to help prevent it spreading.

With the three I’ve mentioned above, you can still go to school. I know scarlet fever was doing the rounds, and indeed one of her classmates has it at the moment, so we’re not over that one yet… it is easily treated with antibiotics, and the child can go back to school once they feel well enough again.

We were asked if H could have her picture taken to show what she thinks germs look like – with a little help (from me!) this is what she reckons! I had to chant ‘digit-ill! digit-ill! digit-ill!” in the background while it was being taken – and she has never watched Dr Who (I felt quite like a Dalek…)

We were sent a selection of Boots vitamins and cold remedies (already in use…!) for the purpose of this post, all packaged lovingly in a sparkly satchel. 

Scratch, Scratch, Headlice is Back. Lyclear Saves the Day

It’s one of the letters you don’t want to receive at school and one of the topics which provokes a reaction with almost everyone you talk to – usually they start scratching their head (like I am now) – the dreaded Head Lice letter. As luck would have it, Lyclear sent us a bottle just as we got our first letter this year! We’re no strangers to this wonderful world, but I’m always willing to try anything which helps!


Lyclear is available as a shampoo, spray and a new sensitive variety from most shops; I’ve seen it in a variety of places. It’s a simple spray on-comb out spray which claims to have a 100% success rate. H was showing all the signs she had them other than anything in her hair. I do know she reacts to some shampoos, but we couldn’t take the risk as other children had it, so gave Lyclear a go.

Step 1 – you check the hair for Lice using a headlice comb. Our shampoo came with a comb which is handy, though I do swear by the Nitty Gritty comb. It looks like all varieties come with a comb, it’s clearly marked on the front of the box.

Step 2 – Apply the shampoo onto dry hair. Make sure you cover the back of the neck and behind the ears. Leave for 10 minutes.

Step 3 – Wash it out – add water and work up a foam. Rinse thoroughly.

Step 4 – comb through the wet hair to collect all lice and eggs using your fine comb.

Don’t forget to clean the comb! This needs repeating after seven days to break up the life cycle of the lice, but two treatments should be enough.

So how does it work? So many other mums say they do the conditioner and combing routine because they don’t want to use pesticides on their child’s head, so what does Lyclear offer? From their official site : All Lyclear treatments provide a double physical action attacking both head lice and their eggs. Lyclear Spray and Lyclear Shampoo suffocate and dehydrate head lice and their eggs, whereas Lyclear Sensitive attaches onto the respiratory orifices of head lice and eggs to suffocate them and penetrates into the heart of the eggs to stop their development.

If you’re not scratching too much then there’s more information about head lice over here. While I’m not 100% sure whether H had it, we got the letter and treated her as she seemed to keep getting it at nursery, and her head is clear.

I like that Lyclear includes everything you’d need, so you’re not buying a separate comb (though I do swear by my Nitty Gritty one) so if you had to rush to the chemist to get stocked up once receiving the dreaded letter, Lyclear would be a good place to start!

We were sent a bottle to try out – all opinions are our own.

Head Lice Helpful Tips – This Is What Works For Us.

Head Lice are the bane of my life as far as things my child can catch goes. We’ve tried several methods of prevention and I figured it was time to write some Head lice helpful tips.

My head lice helpful tips won’t cost a lot either – you just need a few essentials in and you’re covered.

I hate head lice. Almost all children will experience it, especially if your child goes to nursery or preschool where they’re around other children.

A female head louse lays eggs close to the root where the scalp keeps them warm. They’re tiny and really difficult to see. After 7-10 days the lice hatch and the eggshells stay glued in place – these are nits. They become more noticeable once they’ve grown from the scalp and look a bit like dandruff but are glued to the hair.

Head lice feed by biting the scalp and feeding on blood. They take 6-10 days to become fully grown and once mature they can crawl from head to head. (taken from here)

Nitty Gritty Head lice Comb

There was a time when H had it for what felt like three months – they’d clear and she’d be reinfected, and it was so frustrating. Here’s our helpful tips to get rid :

• Get a good nit comb. We have a Nitty Gritty which is good at getting the eggs off the hair shaft. It will also occasionally pick up the lice too. I’d advise splashing out and getting the Nitty Gritty as it has been the most reliable, though it’s not easy to clean. Wet conditioned hair is the best way to get the blighters – though dry combing works too – it just hurts more.
• As well as a nit comb, I’ve found our electric Robi Comb Pro will loosen the lice from the hair – it occasionally zaps them. Working the two of these intitially will clear the hair pretty well.

Robi Comb Pro Head Lice comb - head lice helpful tips - these are good for getting the actual lice out of your hear. Scratch scratch

• Look out for the signs when your child has them. I know H may have them if she has a red patch at the back of her neck and behind her ears. You can also see little bite marks on her scalp – red blood spots. Or she’s scratching a lot…

Head lice helpful tips - bottles of Hedrin, Vosene Kids and Anovia Head On which are all reasonable and work for us.

Buying products to help the head lice stay away doesn’t come too costly either.

Poundland have sprays and shampoos in stock a lot (Anovia Head On), and I’ve spotted some Tea Tree ones that Ocado sell, also for £1 each. Vosene Kids have a spray which you can leave in the hair which I’ve found is a good preventative measure.

Hedrin is one of the popular options for head lice removal. The cheapest I’ve found is for £5, there are several kinds of treatments available.
We’ve tried a few and have found them all to be as effective as the other.

You might find your child keeps getting them. We found this happened until there was a clear break when the children don’t see each other – for example Christmas holidays. Everyone needs to get rid of the lice at the same time for them to disappear.

The good news is that head lice like any kind of hair. It doesn’t have to be clean or dirty, any hair will do. They’re not fussy, they want to feed.

I feel itchy now… do you have any head lice helpful tips you’d like to add?