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Head Lice

Tips on Head Lice from your School Nurse

Get the facts:

Head lice are a nuisance and tough to treat, but they do not carry disease              
and are not dangerous to your health. Lice do not jump, fly or burrow under     
the skin. By learning more about the life cycle of head lice, the better you            
will be able to find and treat them early.

Anyone can get head lice, but it is most common in children 3-12 years of       
age. It is not a sign of poor hygiene. The “glue” from the nits and the
“claws” on the adults keep them from being washed out with plain soap and
water. Pets cannot spread head lice. A person with lice may have an itchy               
scalp or neck from a reaction to the salvia when the mature lice feed. Many
will have no symptoms.

Head lice are spread most commonly by direct head-to-head contact with
the hair of someone who has lice. They can also be spread by contact
with an infested person’s hair brush, combs, hair ties, hats, unwashed
clothing, bedding or towels. They are commonly spread in households.
Children can spread them during close contact while playing. People with
head lice can continue to spread them until they complete a course of
treatment that kills all of the head lice and their eggs.

What does lice look like?

Actual size of the three life forms compared to a penny; image

More Information:

Why do Americans freak out over lice? The Boston Sunday Globe 03/18/18

Head Lice Fact Sheet Massachusetts Department of Public Health May 2014
Piojos Hoja de Datos Massachusetts Department of Public Health May 2014

Treatments for Head Lice American Academy of Pediatrics Updates 04/27/15

Head Lice Management in the School Setting National Association of School Nurses January 2016