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Head lice cross all socioeconomic boundaries. If you have hair, you can get lice.
Head lice is second to the common cold in childhood ailments.
Head lice is one of highest reasons children miss school.
Head lice thrive equally in warm and cold climates.
The Facts of Lice
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An adult louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, Is usually clear, almost invisible to our eye, until it feeds, then it can appear as a tan, grayish-clear, or even sometimes appear black in color. It cannot jump or fly. The female can lay several eggs a day. Eggs are called nits. Nits can vary in color, sometimes appearing whitish-gray, or even black. Nits are hardest to spot on strawberry blonde, or brown/blonde or gray hair. They can be easily missed on a "dry check". An adult louse can live approximately 1 month.
Adult Lice need to feed on blood several times daily. Without blood meals, the louse will die within 2 days off the human host.
When the eggs hatches it releases a nymph. It looks like the adult, but is about the size of a pin head.
Symptoms of Lice include:
Itchy scalp (sometimes... because 70% of people with lice DO NOT itch)
small bumps or sores on the back of your child's neck and scalp. You may see scratches and scabs on the scalp and nape of neck.
Unless the infestation is significant, you are more likely to see nits attached to hair (rather than moving lice on the head).
Nits may look like dandruff but they will not flick, shake or blow off .
Head Lice can be a real nuisance, but have not been shown to spread disease.
Most people have head lice for 3-6 weeks before even knowing they have it.
Head Lice is highly contagious, if a family member has head lice it is very important to have every one in your home checked.
Teach your child to avoid sharing things such as: hair brushes, head phones, hats, combs, scarfs, towels, helmets, etc.
Make sure your child hangs coat up on an individual hook, instead of throwing into a pile with other classmates' clothing. We also recommend putting the jacket in backpack if possible.
Long hair should be worn back or up every day. "A pony tail is good, a braid is better, but a bun is the best." All hair up off the neck and shoulders. This can reduce your risk of getting LICE by 80%.
Regularly clean things that your child's head has had direct contact with, such as car seats, pillows, head phones etc.