Head Lice are very common

Head lice are small, parasite insects that live in hair. Lice can be found in clean and dirty hair. They cannot jump, hop, or fly; however, they are able to crawl and can do so very quickly. Because they crawl, the sharing of personal items like hats, scarves, combs, and brushes should be avoided. Anyone can get lice; however, it is most common among young school-aged children.

Lice can live off of the scalp for up to two days. The eggs can survive much longer, up to two weeks.

General Information:

  • Lice have a tendency to be behind the ears and near the neckline. They can be found on any part of the scalp.
  • Lice hold on tightly to hair. This makes them difficult to kill and to rid the hair of nits (lice eggs) and live lice.
  • Symptoms include itching, feeling of tingling or "something moving," and sores in the head from scratching.
  • It may be difficult to sleep - lice tend to be most active in the dark
  • Regular shampoo has no effect on lice or lice eggs (nits).

What to Do:

  • Over-the-counter lice treatments can be purchased. Be sure to read the directions carefully. The treatment will need to be repeated in 7 to 10 days to kill live bugs.
  • Lice treatments kill live bugs, but do not have an effect on the eggs (nits). It is very important to comb through the hair every day for up to 2 weeks to remove the eggs that can hatch new lice.
  • A special comb for lice treatment should be used. The comb comes in over-the-counter treatments and can be purchased separately.
  • Vacuum carpets, fabric on furniture, and cars.
  • Soak combs and brushes for 1 hour in lice shampoo.
  • Place items like helmets and stuffed animals into a plastic bag and seal for at least two weeks.
  • Wash bedding in hot water or place in the dryer for thirty minutes.
  • Talk to your child about not sharing personal items.

Should you have any questions or for additional treatment options, please feel free to contact your schools Health Monitor or Douglas County Nurse.

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