Updated: Nov 20, 2019
Don't panic! Kids at school and in childcare settings are going to play. And their play may lead to the spread of head lice. Lice Facts For Parents Lice like clean hair. Lice do not jump or fly, but they can crawl really fast! Lice are usually spread by direct head-to-head contact. Lice feed only on human blood. Pets or animals cannot get lice, only humans. Lice will die in less than 24 hours of being removed from the head. Itching of the scalp is usually the first noticeable sign. The itching is caused by an allergic reaction to the saliva of the lice; however, 50% of people do not have this reaction! Homes and schools do not get lice – people do! Lice do not transmit disease. Lice will infect more that 12 million heads this year.
If You Find Lice or Nits on Your Child’s Head Check all family members – treat only those with an infestation. There is no magic potion…Over the counter lice shampoos like RID, Lice Free, Vamousse, etc DO NOT KILL or Remove the nits/eggs. Unless ALL the LICE/NITS/EGGS are removed, the lice will come back. A fine tooth comb is the easiest way to remove the nits/eggs. Report the infestation to your school, camp, daycare, and close friends. This is the only way to stop the cycle.
After You have Removed All of the Lice, Nits/Eggs Wash or change bed linens. Wash brushes, combs, and hair ornaments that have been used in the previous 24 hours in hot water. Stuffed toys can be dried on high heat for 20 minutes. Items that cannot be washed and/or dried should be set aside for 24 hours. This applies only to items that have been exposed to anyone with an infestation in the past 24 hours. Do not use “lice sprays”. You can lightly vacuum upholstered furniture that has been used in the past 24 hours by anyone with an infestation.
Teach and practice good habits. You can take steps to prevent the spread of lice among children and adults. To reduce the chance of you or your child catching a case of head lice, start by not sharing items that touch the head. It may be tempting to share personal belongings, especially for kids, but lice can crawl from an object to your head. Avoid sharing: combs and brushes hair clips and accessories hats and bike helmets scarves and coats towels headsets and earbuds.