HEAD LICE

FIRST THINGS FIRST, KNOW THE FACTS:

  • If your child has head lice, please reassure them that they did nothing wrong. ANYONE can get head lice.

  • A head lice infestation is NOT a sign of poor personal hygiene or an unclean living environment.

  • Do not get frustrated if it takes more than 1-2 treatments to rid of head lice. This is very common as lice are very resilient.

  • Lice is a nuisance but NOT a health hazard. They do not carry or spread any type of diseases. 

  • Lice require blood to live, therefore once off the scalp, head lice rarely survive beyond 2 days.

  • Lice do NOT jump, fly or  hop. 

  • Lice is spread through direct contact, mainly head to head contact. Also, sharing combs, brushes, hats can spread lice.

  • Pets CANNOT get or spread human head lice.

LICE VS. NITS:

NITS

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Nits are lice eggs that are very tiny and difficult to see. They can be yellowish-brown to a pearly white. They are tear drop shaped.

Nits are firmly attached to the hair shaft and are usually close to the scalp. 

They attach to the hair shaft with a glue-like substance. This makes it so that the nits CANNOT be washed away or flicked off with a fingernail. 

Nits hatch in 7-10 days and will become full adult lice in 9-12 days.

As long as nits remain alive, head lice will continue to spread. That is why it is important to check and remove nits DAILY.

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LICE
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Lice is a tiny wingless insect that live on the head and scalp of people.  Approximately the size of a sesame seed as an adult.

Adult lice can live for about 3-4 weeks.

Adult louce lay approximately 4-8 eggs per day.

LIFE CYCLE OF LICE :
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SYMPTOMS:
  • Itching

  • Tickling feeling of something crawling in your hair.

  • Scratch marks ore red bite marks around the hair line or on scalp.

  • Increased itching and sleeplessness due to more activity of lice during the night.

TREATMENT:

 

 

 

  • Check every member of the family for live lice and nits.

  • Treat all family members who have head lice with a lice-killing product. Lice-killing products can be purchased over-the-counter at most pharmacies and retail stores that sell hair care products.

  • Follow label directions on the product you are using EXACTLY as the label states.

  • Remove all lice and nits with a lice comb (most lice-killing kits come with a lice comb) or pick them out with fingers. If you are using your fingers, be sure you are completely removing them from the hair. Remember, eggs use a glue to stay attached and need a little more force to remove them. 

  • Repeat treatment in approximately 7-10 days. Most lice-killing products recommend this time frame. Check to see what your product recommends.

  • Wash ALL pillows, bed sheets, stuffed animals and clothing that have been in contact with the individual with lice in hot water. Water should be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Place all washed items in the dyer on the hottest setting for at least 20 minutes.

  • Place items that can not be washed or dried in a sealed plastic bag for 10-14 days.

  • Wash all hair care products such as brushes, combs, hair clips, etc. in hot water. Water should be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  • Vacuum the entire house including rugs, furniture, floors, mattresses. Also, vacuum the car and car seats.

Additional Resources:
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    Department of Health

Head Lice Treatment Sheet

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    Department of Health

    Head Lice Fact Sheet