Head Lice

Head lice infestation is a common problem among people. Head lice are parasitic insects that can be found on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes of people. They feed on human blood several times a day and live close to the human scalp. They do NOT jump or fly. Although they are annoying, head lice do not transmit disease.

Anyone can get head lice. Head lice are most often transmitted through head to head contact. School transmission is rare. Some common symptoms of head lice include: itching and scratching of the scalp and neck, feeling that something is ‘crawling’ in the hair, sores from constant scratching, and seeing lice on scalp or nits attached to hair shaft. If your child has any of these symptoms, please check your child’s head for lice. Also, all household members and other close contacts of the person with lice should be checked.

Treatment for head lice is recommended for people with an active infestation, i.e. live lice and/or nits close to the scalp are present. Please call your primary care provider, school nurse, or school public health nurse with questions about treatment. There are over the counter and prescription treatment products available for use. Follow the product directions. If your child is being treated for head lice it is also recommended that you comb the hair daily for 14 days. For more information on treatment go to:

Provided by Olmsted County Public Health Service

Head Lice Brochure

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