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Head lice head back to school, too!

Head Lice heads back to school too

Head lice are very common especially in preschool- and elementary school-age children. It has been estimated that up to one in every 10 children in school will get lice at some time

You get lice by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.   You can also get lice from wearing hats, scarves, sports uniforms, or hair ribbons worn by an infested person; using infested combs, brushes or towels; or lying on a bed, couch, pillow, carpet, or stuffed animal that has recently been in contact with an infested person.  Lice move rapidly by crawling, they cannot fly or jump.  And they are not transmitted by pets.

I really want to stress that getting lice is not related to how clean a person is, it just happens.

Common signs and symptoms of lice are intense itching, due to an allergic reaction to the lice saliva. Some people do not get this allergic reaction so they have no itching.  You can use a fine toothed comb to discover the lice. The adult looks like a sesame seed. And the lice eggs, which are called “nits”, look like dandruff, but unlike dandruff, they cannot be brushed out of the hair.

If your child gets in contact with lice, all household members and other close contacts should be checked; anyone with evidence of an active infestation should be treated with over the counter products such as Rid or Nix. Make sure you follow the instructions very carefully.

Lice can survive only about 1-2 days off of a person.  To help avoid re-infestation of lice that have fallen off the person and have crawled onto clothing or furniture looking for another victim; you need to wash clothing, bed linens, and other items that the infested person wore or used during the 2 days before treatment using hot water.  Then dry them at the highest heat setting.

Items that cannot be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag and stored for 2 weeks.

Soak combs and brushes in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

Vacuum the floor and furniture, where the infested person spent time.

And you will be lice free.