Head Lice

Head Lice Information
Head lice is a common childhood reality and a nuisance that has survived for thousands of years. Lice and their eggs (nits) live on humans- especially their scalps. Lice are the cause of a lot of anxiety, misinformation and embarrassment. The most common symptoms of having a lice infestation is itching: lice are not a health hazard or a sign of uncleanliness or responsible for the spread of any disease.

Lice are unable to fly or jump so usually require direct, head-to-head contact to spread from one person to another. Several studies have shown that lice are not highly transferable in the school setting. Encourage your child not to share hats or other head wear with others.

Treatment methods vary from over the counter and prescription rinses and shampoos to home remedies primarily intended to suffocate the lice. Pulling out the nits and live lice ( for roughly two weeks) should accompany the chemical treatment. Clothing, bedding, hair accessories, or items that have been in contact with the infested person should be cleaned/dried in a hot dryer to limit re-infestation.

If your child has head lice it is recommended they receive treatment prior to returning to school. Most of the shampoos do not kill all of the eggs so it is extremely important to remove any eggs still remaining. You may need to re-treat again with the chemical treatment 7-10 days after the initial treatment. Please see the fact sheets below that give clear directions on how to treat head lice.

Resource Information:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for detailed information about head lice symptoms, treatment and prevention: www.cdc.gov/lice/head

2. https://identify.us.com/idmybug/head-lice/head-lice-FAQS/index.html.

3. Minnesota Department of Health www.health.state.mn.us (in the search box type: head lice)

4. www.aap.org (in the search box type: head lice)

5. www.headlice.org
Fact Sheets