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Information on Treating Head Lice

Treating Head Lice


 

Risk Factors

   Because head lice are spread primarily by head-to-head contact, the risk of transmission is greatest among younger people who play or go to school together. In the United States, cases of head lice most often occur in children in preschool through middle school.

 

   Head Lice can be spread through the sharing of personal articles like hats, towels, brushes, helmets, hair ties, etc. There is also a possibility of spreading head lice via a pillow, headrest or similar items. 

 

  • If you see lice on your child’s head or body, it needs to be treated.
  • If you live with or are close to someone who has lice, you need to be checked.
  • Anyone who shares a bed with someone who has lice should be treated at the same time.
 

Lice on hair shaft

lice and nits on hair shaft

Symptoms

You may not be aware of a lice infestation. However, common signs and symptoms can include:

  • Itching. Itching on the scalp, neck and ears is the most common symptom. This is an allergic reaction to louse saliva. When a person has an infestation for the first time, itching may not occur for two to six weeks after infestation.
  • Lice on scalp. Lice may be visible but are difficult to spot because they're small, avoid light and move quickly.
  • Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts. Nits stick to hair shafts. Incubating nits may be difficult to see because they're very tiny. They're easiest to spot around the ears and the hairline of the neck. Empty nits may be easier to spot because they're lighter in color and further from the scalp. However, the presence of nits doesn't necessarily indicate an active infestation.

Complications

  Sores on back of the neck caused by scratching. If your child repeatedly scratches an itchy scalp, neck or ears from a  head lice infestation, it is possible for the skin to break and an infection to develop.  

                          Treatment

   Most lice treatments need to be used twice, seven to 10 days apart, along with combing wet hair with a fine-toothed comb to remove nits.

 

   There are many different over-the-counter treatments available for the treatment of head lice that may be purchased at your local Wal-Mart or CVS.

 

   Some lice are resistant to pyrethrins and permethrin. That's when it makes sense to turn to stronger prescription drugs, such as ivermectin and spinosad (Natroba).

Rid Lice Treatment

   

   In the event that one or two have fallen off the host or a few previously shed hairs with nits are lying around:

  • Vacuum rugs/carpeting, upholstered furniture, throw pillows.
  • Wash bedding in hot water and place in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes.
  • Put combs, brushes, hair accessories in a sealed baggie and freeze for 24 hours.
  • Park your car outside in the hot sun, windows closed. 
  • Quarantine a room for 24-48 hours, if there are too many items to treat.
  • Do not fumigate your home or spray pesticides in your bed.

Fun Facts

  • Lice do not burrow, fly, or jump.
  • Lice prefer straight, fine hair over coarse, curly hair.
  • Lice cannot survive, off-host, more than 24 hours.
  • Lice cannot survive extreme heat or cold temperatures.
  • Lice can hold their breath for up to 8 hours.
  • Lice have short legs with claws at the end that allow them to hang on to the hair shaft - even in wind, the pool, and during hair washing.


 

 

 

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Forestburg ISD
P.O. Box 415 16346 FM 455
Forestburg, Texas 76239
Schedule:

Normal Office Hours:  M-F 8am-4pm

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Phone: 940.964.2323
Fax: 940-964-2531