Facts, Not Myths about Head Lice

Head lice are not something most people talk about but if you have children you will experience them at least once in your lifetime.  They aren't very big and are easily mistaken for dandruff.  So how do you know if your child has head lice or simply dandruff? 

Head lice manufacture a type of glue that attaches it's eggs to the bottom of the hair shaft and it won't slide down the shaft if you try to move it.  If this happens you need to start treatment as soon as possible.  

The grown head lice are called a louse and the eggs it lays are called nits.  A louse is the size of a sesame seed and nits are only the size of a dandruff flake.  Make no mistake about it; you want to get these blood-sucking insects off of your children's head and out of your home as soon as possible.

Head lice can live 30 days on your head but only 24 hours if they aren't on a host.  The nits will hatch is less than 10 days and that causes even more troubles.  At this point, you may have even more questions, and it's time to clear those up.

How fast does an adult louse lay her eggs?

A female louse lays eggs twice a day.  During those two times, she will lay up to five eggs.  When you multiply that times all the adult lice on a head of hair, it's a lot!

Can lice be spread by touching others?

Lice can be spread by sharing certain personal items.  For example, a hairbrush, pillow, helmet, or even hair ties can spread lice.  They don't jump or fly so if they don't get spread to a new host within 24 hours you have nothing to worry about because they will be dead.

Is shaving your head the only way to get rid of head lice?

There are several ways to get rid of head lice.  There are special shampoos you can buy to kill lice, but remember you still must comb out the dead lice and the unhatched nits to dispose of them.  This treatment usually has to be done more than once and sometimes that is seven to ten days later.

You can shave your head and for boys, this is sometimes a good way to stay cool in the summer, but for girls, it's not usually a good option.

There are home remedies online that use apple cider vinegar and other home ingredients that will also help to get rid of the lice.  You will find a lot of these home remedies on Youtube if you don't like the thought of using chemicals.

Do you have to boil sheets and pillowcases of the person with head lice?

Wash the infected sheets and pillowcases in hot soapy water and dry just like you normally would.  Don't put the same sheets back on the bed for at least 48 hours.  As stated earlier, the lice can't live without a host for more than 24 hours.  The 48 hours is just an extra safety precaution.

Now you know the true facts of what head lice are and how to deal with them.  Head lice are just one of those pesky things in life everyone will probably deal with at one time or another so don't take it personally.  When it comes to lice they don't discriminate on whose head they try to live on.

 

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