An estimated 6 million to 12 million children a year experience lice infestations, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Infestations are not related to demographics, hygiene, cleanliness or living conditions; lice happens when children live or play together. While head lice are a commonplace nuisance, they are not dangerous and have no additional health consequences.
Spread mainly through head to head contact, they favor the soft scalps and baby-fine hairs of children.
Head lice do not jump or fly, nor do they live on pets.
Eggs–or nits, as they are commonly called, need warmth from the body to incubate. Separated from the head, eggs must hatch in the first 24 hours. Thus, only eggs on the head should cause concern.
Adult lice can only live 1 or 2 days away from a warm body.
The only thing that lice cause is itching on the scalp, but they do not cause any other diseases.
Symptoms of Lice:
The scalp is likely to be itchy
There will likely be small, clear to white bugs on the hair shafts and scalp. They are often seen behind the ears or on the nape of the neck.
There are often “nits” or white shells stuck to the hair shaft near the skin. Nits are different than dandruff in that they are not easily moved like dandruff and appear “glued” to the hair shaft.
Use a lice repellant shampoo and spray daily to ward off head lice. If scalp dryness occurs or washing hair daily is not possible, use the spray at least daily for added protection.
Pull hair back to reduce the opportunity for lice to transfer.
Comb with a good lice comb AT LEAST once or twice a week, and it is suggested to continue this as long as they are of school age.
Watch for warning signs and respond to them quickly.
Avoid close contact with known cases of head lice.
Avoid keeping hats, clothes, and other garments in close contact with those of people with head lice.
However, if and when Head Lice are detected, please see your pediatrician.
Lice Resources on How to Prevent Head Lice & Lice Prevention Tips.