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Head Lice. What are Head Lice?. Properly called Pediculus humanus capitis , head lice are parasitic insects that are small, wingless, and grayish-tan. Head lice only live in humans, and anyone can get them, even with good health habits and hair washing. Head lice is very common.

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what are head lice
What are Head Lice?
  • Properly called Pediculushumanuscapitis, head lice are parasitic insects that are small, wingless, and grayish-tan.
  • Head lice only live in humans, and anyone can get them, even with good health habits and hair washing.
  • Head lice is very common.
what do head lice look like egg nit
What do head lice look like?Egg/nit
  • Nits are head lice eggs. They are very small, about the size of a knot in thread, hard to see, and are often confused for dandruff or hair spray droplets.
  • Nits are laid by the adult female at the base of the hair shaft 1/4th inch from the scalp.
  • They are oval and usually yellow to white.
  • Nits take about 1 week to hatch.
what do head lice look like nymph
What do head lice look like?Nymph
  • The nit hatches into a baby louse called a nymph.
  • It looks like an adult head louse, but is smaller.
  • Nymphs mature into adults about 7 days after hatching.
  • To live, the nymph must feed on blood.
what do head lice look like adult
What do head lice look like?Adult
  • They are about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, and is tan to grayish-white.
  • Adult lice can vary in color depending on the person’s hair color.
  • Females, which are usually larger than males, lay eggs.
  • Adult lice can live up to 30 days.
  • If the louse falls off a person, it dies within 2 days.
what are the symptoms
What are the symptoms?
  • Gray bugs in hair
  • Nits (white eggs) attached to hair follicles
  • Itchy scalp
  • Scalp rash
who is at risk
Who is at risk?
  • ANYONE who comes close contact (especially head to head contact) with someone who already has head lice is at greatest risk.
  • You might also be at risk if you share clothing (such as hats, scarves, coats) or other personal items (brushes or towels) that belong to an infested person.
  • Preschool, elementary-age children, girls, and women have higher risks.
  • Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice.
treatment
treatment
  • Start with over the counter treatment as directed on dry hair. Ask a pharmacist questions if necessary.
treatment combing pulling out nits
TreatmentCombing/Pulling out nits
  • This is the most important step in getting rid of head lice.
  • No lice treatment kills 100% of nits, so all nits must be removed to prevent them from hatching. If one nit is left, the head lice problem could continue.
  • Mixture of half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol applied to the hair can help to loosen the nits prior to combing. As you remove the nits, put them in alcohol.
  • Good light is necessity! Sunlight or fluorescent lights are best. Nits will be missed in regular light.
  • Metal nit combs work better than plastic ones. Combing out nits is not the same as combing hair with a regular comb. Divide hair into small sections to comb through carefully.
treatment continued
Treatment continued…
  • Lice may live up to 3 days and nits up to 3 weeks. To prevent infection, vacuum child’s mattress daily, soak combs and brushes for 1hr in a solution made from anti lice shampoo, and wash all bed linens and clothes in hot water and place in dryer.
  • Vacuum carpet, cloth furniture, and seats of cars. Throw bag away.
  • Place all stuffed animals or items with cloth in an airtight bag for 2 weeks.
  • If lice or nits are seen on the eyelashes, apply Vaseline to the eyelashes twice a day for one week. NO anti lice shampoo should be used near the eyes or eyelashes.
home remedy
Home remedy
  • Cover head and hair with mineral oil for 30mins.
  • Wash hair with Dawn dish soap until mineral oil is removed.
  • Apply white vinegar to cover all scalp and hair for another 30mins. Protect eyes.
  • Rinse vinegar with warm water thoroughly and remove all nits under bright light.
  • Treatment can be repeated as needed.
how long will my child be contagious
How long will my child be contagious?
  • Your child may return to school when ALL nits are removed.
  • Have your child checked by a school nurse to make sure.
  • Retreatment is recommended in 7 to 10 days to remove any remaining nits or lice.
  • Check the heads of other family members.
  • If anyone has scalp sores, rashes or itching, they should be treated with the shampoo also.
when should i call the doctor
When should I call the doctor?
  • Call your doctor if:

- Itching prevents sleep

- The scalp rash clears, then returns

- The scalp rash lasts more than one week.

- Living lice or eggs appear in the hair after treatment.

- The sores spread or look infected.

- Your child displays signs of infection such as increased swelling, redness, pain, drainage, bad smell from sores, and fever.

how can head lice be prevented
How can head lice be prevented?
  • Hair spray or any other medicated sprays will NOT prevent head lice.
  • Head lice are mainly spread by head to head contact.
  • Head lice can also be spread indirectly…
  • Teach your child not to share combs, brushes, coats or hats!
questions
Questions?
  • If you have any questions, contact your school nurse.
  • You can also contact the following if you need help treating head lice or if you have questions:

- Lice Ladies of Atlanta (1-888-924-5423)

- Family Lice Removal (1-877-488-8401)

- Natural Head Lice Removal (1-866-355-5423)

- Head Hunters (678-240-0042)

useful websites
Useful websites
  • http://www.lice911.com/page.php?page=prevention
  • http://www.headlice.org/
  • http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/parasitic/lice.html
  • http://www.cdc.gov/lice/head/factsheet.html