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Head Lice: What You Should Know

Head lice is very common in children. But it doesn’t mean that you should not be bothered by them. They do not cause any serious disease, but the yuck factor is high, not to mention that some schools do not let lice-infested students to attend classes because of possible outbreak.

What is Head Lice?

They are tiny insects with 6 les, crawling and clinging to the scalp and feeding on human blood. The sesame-seed-sized insects are very hard to spot but relatively visible to the naked eye. The eggs, which are called nits, are even harder to spot and they are glued onto hair strands near the scalp.

Head Lice – Who Gets Infected?

Lice are common to school children. Children who play together, share brushes, hair clips, hats, and have hair-to-hair contact are more likely to get head lice. Furthermore, adults have a greater risk of catching head lice if they are living with school-age kids.

Head Lice – How Do They Spread?

Lice spread through direct (head-to-head) and indirect contacts (use of personal items like brushes and combs, hats, etc) with a person with head lice. Lice cannot fly or jump, but they are fast crawlers and can easily crawl from one person’s head to another.

Spotting a Head Lice

Although these insects are small, you can see it with the naked eye. Head lice are mostly found in the hair behind the ears and at the back of the neck. Their eggs, or nits, are oval specks glued tightly to the hair, making them hard to remove. Experts suggest using a fine-toothed comb on wet hair to check for an infestation.

Symptoms

Normally, the only tell-tale sign of a lice infestation is when you spot a live louse because nits or eggs alone doesn’t mean that you are infested. Most children do not feel any discomfort from head lice, but may feel itching of the scalp weeks or months after the lice first move in.

 

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