Head Lice: What Parents Need to Know

Head Lice: What Parents Need to Know

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March 25 , 2018 | Posted by Matt Reeves |

Head Lice: What Parents Need to Know

Head lice is something that normally attacks school going kids and their families. Lice have the capability to stick to the hair of kid’s head. It doesn’t on the state of the hair, whether the hair is clean or dirty. There is no specific area where you get the most head lice or least. They are spread worldwide in all different places, such as in households or schools or the city. It also doesn’t depend on whether the person is clean or dirty, rich or poor or from the kind of neighborhood they belong to.

Nonetheless, head lice may be an annoyance, they don’t lead to severe sickness or transmit any diseases. Head lice can be cured at home, but it’s imperative to consult with the doctor initially.

Given below is some information from the American Academy of Pediatrics to assist parents check for, treat, and prevent the extent of head lice.

What are head lice?

Head lice are tiny bugs about the size of a sesame seed (2–3 mm long [mm stands for millimeter]). Their bodies are usually pale and gray, but their color may vary. One of these tiny bugs is called a louse.

Head lice feed on small amounts of blood from the scalp. They can usually live 1 to 2 days without blood meal.

Lice lay and fasten their eggs to hair close to the scalp. The eggs and their shell coverings are called nits. They are normally in an oval shape and are 0.8 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, almost the size of a knot. Moreover, they are normally yellow to white. Some nits may merge in with some people’s hair color, making it difficult to see, and are often muddled for dandruff or hair spray droplets. Nits stick to the hair with a gluey ingredient that grips them firmly in place. Subsequently, post the the egg hatching, the empty nits halt on the hair shaft.

What is the life cycle of head lice?

Typically, head lice have a lifespan of about 28 days. They grow in 3 stages: egg (also called a nit), nymph, and adult louse.

  1. Egg or nit- They hatch in about six to nine days. Eggs are normally located within 4 to 6 mm of the scalp and do not stay alive if they are farther than this.
  2. Nymph- The nymph resembles to an adult head louse but is comparatively smaller in size (about the size of a pinhead [1.5 mm]). Nymphs turn into adults about 7 days post hatching.
  3. Adult louse- An adult louse can replicate fast and are capable of laying up to 10 eggs a day. The time duration taken by newly hatched eggs to attain adulthood is approximately 12 to 14 days

This cycle is capable of repeating itself every 3 weeks if head lice are left crude.

How common are head lice?

Head lice are most prevalent in kindergarten and elementary school–aged children. According to a survey, majority of school-aged children in the States get head lice, every year. On the other hand, any person can get head lice. Head lice are found everywhere, in each corner of the world.

How do head lice spread?

Head lice are swarming insects. They cannot jump, hop, or fly. The main way head lice spread is from close, protracted head-to-head contact. There is a very small probability that head lice will replicate by sharing items such as combs, brushes, and hats.

What are symptoms of head lice?

Itching on the areas where head lice are active is the most common indication. On the other hand, it might go in for 4 to 6 weeks after lice get on the scalp in advance prior to the scalp becoming delicate to the lice saliva and starts to itch. Most of the itching takes place behind the ears or at the back of the neck. Furthermore, itching caused by head lice can go on for weeks, even after the lice are dead or gone.

How do you check for head lice?

Regular checks for head lice is a decent method to find head lice beforehand they have time to reproduce and overrun (are present in large numbers) your child’s head.  Given below is a way to it at home-

  1. Seat your child in a well lit room.
  2. Part the hair.
  3. Look for crawling lice and for nits on your child’s scalp a section at a time.

Live lice are tough to find. They avoid light and move very fast.

Nits will appear as small white or yellow-brown dots and be unbendingly stuck to the hair near the scalp. The laid-back place to catch them is at the hairline at the back of the neck or behindhand the ears. Nits can be muddled with many other things such as dandruff, dirt particles, or hair spray droplets. The way to tell the variance is that nits are resolutely attached to hair, while dandruff, dirt, or other particles are not.

How do you treat head lice?

You must consult with your child’s doctor before starting any head lice treatment. The best or the most in effect way to treat head lice is with head lice medicine. Subsequently, post every treatment, using the comb-out technique every 2 to 3 days for 2 to 3 weeks may aid in removal of the nits and eggs.