Head Lice

Head lice are passed from person to person by direct contact or on shared objects (combs, towels, barrettes, headphones, etc.), so every member of the family should be checked.  The most common symptom of infestation is intense itching on the back of the head or neck.  Head lice cannot survive without a human host, or on family pets.  There is little evidence to support that they carry disease.  Don't panic-just follow the steps below to easily take care of the problem.

1. Check every member of the family.
Lice are hard to spot, so look for tiny white
eggs (nits) on hair shafts, near the scalp, 
especially at the nape of the neck and behind the ears.
Head lice are small, wingless, grayish-tan insects.
Any family member with lice or nits must be treated.

2.  Use an effective head lice treatment.
Several are available without a prescription.
Follow the directions for the best results.  A
repeat treatment may be recommended in 10-14 days.

3.  Remove all nits.
Gently comb the child's hair with the special nit removal
comb.  The combs are provided with most lice treatment
products.  All nits must be removed before the child can
return to school.

4.  Wash clothes, bed linens, and towels.
Use hot water, then dry on hot cycle for at least 20
minutes.  Items such as stuffed animals, headphones and hats
that are not machine washable must be dry-cleaned or stored
at room temperature in a tightly sealed plastic bag for at least
two weeks.

5.  Soak combs, brushes, etc., in hot water.
The hotter the better, but the temperature should be at least
130°F.  Items should soak for at least 10 minutes.

6.  Vacuum everywhere.
To make sure the rest of your home is louse-free,
you should vacuum carpets, pillows, mattresses, upholstered
furniture, even the car seats.

Note:  Getting head lice is not everything you may think it is.  It is NOT a sign of poor health habits or being dirty.