A Parent’s Guide to Head Lice Head Lice 101: The Basics Tips for Manual Removal of Lice Head lice are small insects that live in Work in a well lighted area or use a people’s hair and feed on blood from their flashlight. scalp. Lice glue their eggs or nits to hair Use a grooming comb or hairbrush to so that the nits do not get brushed off. remove tangles. Slightly damp hair is best Lice die quickly without feeding so they for removing nits. cannot live very long away from your Divide the hair into sections and fasten off child’s head. Nits take six to nine days to the hair that is not being worked on. hatch. Use a lice comb to detect and remove lice Head lice are very common. More than 12 and nits. million people, mostly children and school Go through hair sections from the scalp to personnel, get head lice per year the end of the hair. Nits are usually found Direct head-to-head contact with an close to the scalp. infested person is the main way head lice Dip the comb in a cup of hot, soapy water are transmitted, but they may also be or use tape to remove lice, nits or debris transmitted by sharing hats, scarves, from the comb. headphones, combs and other hair Sift through the same section of hair and accessories. Lice cannot hop, jump or fly, look for attached nits and live lice. but they can crawl rapidly. Move on to the next section until the Head lice cannot live off a human host for entire scalp and all hair has been checked. more than 24-48 hours. Head lice cannot Screen the infested person every day for live on pets. Head lice cannot reproduce 10 days and regularly thereafter. in carpets, furniture or other household furnishings. The best treatment for head lice is manual Treatments removal. Numerous products for the treatment of How to Avoid Head Lice head lice are available without a Watch for signs of head lice: frequent prescription. head scratching, complaints of itchy Talk to your health care provider about scalp/head, redness behind ears or on treatment products or alternative back of neck treatment options. Teach your children not to share hats, No product is 100 percent effective for headgear, scarves, headphones, combs, getting rid of all the lice and nits. barrettes, helmets and hairbrushes and to It is very important that you follow the avoid direct head-to-head contact. label directions on the product exactly. To kill lice on bedding and clothes, wash Using a head lice treatment product will and dry them as you would ordinarily. not prevent head lice. Only those people Never add any pesticide. Vacuum infested should be treated. materials that cannot be washed. Do not treat in the bathtub or shower, but Wash stuffed animals or vacuum them have the person lean over the sink. This thoroughly. Never spray them with confines the treatment to the scalp. pesticide. To kill lice on brushes, combs or hair accessories, wash them in hot, soapy water. Never spray them with a pesticide.