Your Head Lice Guide
Head lice is a condition affecting roughly 12 million school-aged children each year. Many people have misconceptions about head lice, assuming that only dirty people who do not wash their heir or live sanitary get head lice. This isn’t true. Head lice can affect anyone, of any age, at any time. Even the cleanest people in the world can have head lice. If you are a parent, it's important to be as informed as possible about head lice.
Head lice are small white, brown or gray bugs that attach to strands of hair. They feed only on the blood of a human, and can survive up to 48 hours without a host. The nits can last as long as 10 days without a host. While they can be found anywhere on the head, lice favor areas behind the ears and at the nap of the neck. Usually nits are present with or without the actual bugs. The nit is the lice egg. Nits also attach themselves to strands of hair. The nits are small, oval shaped and white in color. You might think that your child has dandruff, but nits will not easily come off of the scalp. Along with sightings of both nits and the louse themselves, your child (or other family member) may scratch his head and have red bumps from bites and scratching.
Lice are spread through contact with another person, from pillows and blankets, towels, sharing hairbrushes, and through hats and other headgear. It is very easy to spread lice from one person to another, since they have the ability to jump as far as 12 inches. The bugs can also be rather difficult to get rid of, since there is no guarantee they’ll stay in the hair or be fully removed during a first treatment.
If you find lice on your child’s head, it is imperative that an over-the-counter treatment product be purchased and used. You should wash all clothing and linen in the home, and place stuffed animals inside of a tightly sealed bag for a minimum of 10 days.
To keep your child and your home lice free, ensure that they do not share brushes with anyone else. Also encourage them from sharing hats and other head gear since this is the easiest way for lice to be spread. Fully treat your home after a discovery of lice has been made. Vacuum the floors, dry clean anything that you cannot wash, and throw our combs and brushes and replace with new ones.