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If you have school-aged children, head lice are facts of life. The following are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions received by the Lice Treatment Center:
What Do I Need To Know About Head Lice or Pediculosis?
You need to know that:
- Head Lice are parasites that feed on human blood and live on the scalp.
- An estimated 6 million to 12 million cases of head lice occur annually in children ages 3 to 11 years; if you count all the affected adults and teens in families, schools and camps, then the numbers are significantly greater.
- Lice are most commonly spread from head to head contact; cleanliness has nothing to do with getting a case of head lice.
- “Head-to-head” contact and the sharing of hats, combs, brushes, helmets and other personal gear are the easiest ways to contract head lice.
- Head Lice aren’t dangerous and don’t carry disease, but they are extremely difficult to eradicate.
How Do I Know If I Have Lice?
Mild cases of head lice are difficult to detect, so it’s necessary to examine head hairs very carefully on individuals believed to be infected. The following symptoms are good indicators:
- An increase in itching or a tickly feeling in hair or on the scalp;
- Presence of red sores on scalp, particularly behind the ears and at the nape of neck;
- Appearance of LIVE LICE in the hair or nits (lice eggs) attached to hair shafts;
- You may not see live bugs unless there is a severe infestation because they move quickly and hide among the hair shafts.
How Do I Check for Head Lice?
You know head lice are present if nits (lice eggs) are found attached to hair shafts. About the size of poppy seeds, nits get glued to hair shafts and vary in color from white to brown, depending on their stage of development and the color of the host’s hair. Dandruff and other scalp conditions may resemble nits, but unlike dandruff, which can be easily brushed off, nits are solidly attached to the shafts and have to be pulled the entire length of each hair to be removed.
How Do I Treat a Lice Infestation?
Lice removal products should be applied to the hair and scalp, followed by a meticulous removal of all the nits (lice eggs) from the head by hand. You should be aware that many lice treatment and removal products contain harmful chemicals, such as insecticides, which some researchers believe are harmful to children.
It’s best to locate natural, non-toxic removal and treatment products to kill the bugs. Because lice and nit removal is such a difficult and tedious task, many people choose to get outside help. The Lice Treatment Center provides professional removal services and has developed its own line of pediatrician-developed products that are safe and effective. Our lice removal technicians are available around-the-clock to solve your lice problems.
What Should My Kids Know About Lice?
Head lice is usually spread through “head-to-head” contact. Make sure your children know the following rules to avoid a lice infestation:
- Avoid head-to-head contact during sports and playtime.
- Don’t borrow or share personal items that contact the head, such as combs, brushes, hats, scarves, sporting helmets, hair ties, head bands, etc.
If someone you know is infested, avoid lying on their furniture, pillows or sleeping bags
Wear hair up and tight in a bun, pony tail, pigtails or French braids
Should I Check My Family Regularly For Lice?
Are Hair Products Available That Help Repel Lice?
Yes. The Lice Treatment Center has developed a line of non-toxic, lice prevention products – including daily-use shampoos and conditioners and various sprays – that are safe and effectively repel lice.
Click here to view lice prevention products made by LTC.