- Head lice crawl from child to child through head to head contact.
- Lice cannot hop, jump or fly.
- ANY child can get head lice.
- Lice can live up to 30 days on a person’s head and lay from 50 to 150 eggs. If the louse falls off a person, it dies within 2 days.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
· Lice are small brown, tan to grayish-white insects, about the size of a sesame seed.
· The nits or egg sacks are opaque, white oblong-shaped sacks which are firmly attached to the hair shaft. These nits cannot be brushed out. They can only be manually removed with a nit comb or pulled out by hand.
· Suspect lice if your child scratches and/or complains of an itchy head. Itching is the first sign of head lice.
· Check the hair and scalp very carefully especially behind the ears and near the neckline. The best method is to use a magnifying glass under a bright light.
HOW TO TREAT IF INFECTED:
- Wash your child’s hair with a product formulated to kill lice.
- Have your child sit under a bright light and remove all nits with a metal comb that is designed to remove nits. Remove remaining nits with your fingernails. Failure to do this important step always results in reoccurrence.
- Nits are not killed by lice shampoos, so it will be necessary to wash the hair with the lice product a second time in 7 to 10 days to kill any newly hatched lice.
- Launder all clothing and bedding. Laundry water should be at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the lice. Dry on highest heat setting.
- Vacuum all carpets, upholstery and mattresses in the house. Throw away the vacuum bag.
- Sealing clothing, stuffed toys, pillows, blankets or other small soft items, for two weeks in tightly closed plastic bags will kill both lice and nits. You can place items in a hot dryer for at least 30 min instead. Dry cleaning will also kill lice.
- Soak combs, brushes and other washable items for one hour in one of the approved lice shampoos; or, soak them for 5 to 10 minutes in a pan of 130 degree hot water.
- Teach your whole family about how lice is spread and treated.
- Teach your children not to share combs, brushes, hats, hair accessories, jackets and other personal items with other children.
Check your child frequently for signs of lice or nits.