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