Children are back in class. Unfortunately, that means many families are on head lice watch. An estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year. Teach your children how to avoid getting this annoying little hop on and save yourself some stress.

1. Don't Share

Teach your children that sharing is good, but not when it comes to hats or sweaters or anything else that touches other people's heads. That includes scarves, combs, and brushes. If one child in the classroom has lice and your child decides to try out that child's hat, then you've got trouble. Some items are personal. Let your child know that. After all, they wouldn't use a friend's toothbrush, so don't use their hat either.

2. Keep It Separate

We all have a tendency to pile our coats on top of other people's coats at parties or even at school. Don't. Make sure you keep your coats, hats, scarves, and other items away from the rest of the crowd's stuff. This way, no little lice can climb from one of their coats on to yours and then quietly make its way to your head.

3. Sleepover Tips

Most kids love a sleepover at a friend's house. When you send your child over make sure she brings along her own sleeping bag and pillow. When she returns home, bag and wash them quickly. Just in case.

4. Check your Child

Check your child's hair once daily for signs of lice, especially if a letter has gone out from your child's school about a child with lice. Do a quick online search to make sure you know what you're looking for. This way, you can be certain to get rid of the little buggers before they start laying eggs.

5. Tea Tree Oil

The scent of tea tree oil repels lice. Try switching to a shampoo with tea tree oil to prevent lice from ever landing on your child's head to begin with. Tea tree oil (as well as coconut and olive oil) will also kill lice. One popular brand of shampoo is Zippy Doos, which also carries conditioner and other hair products as well.

When it comes to lice, we'd all rather prevent them than have to deal with getting rid of them. These simple steps can help keep your entire family free from head lice.