Share A Toy, Share A Slide, Share the Feelings Deep Inside,
But Never Share A Hat or Comb or Lice Could Make Your Head Their Home.
What are head lice/What is a head louse?
- Nits (the eggs of the head louse) are small yellowish-white, oval-shaped eggs that are “to the side of a hair shaft glued” at an angle
- Nits must be laid by live lice. You cannot “catch nits.”
- Once laid, it takes 7-10 days for a nit to hatch, and another 7-10 days for the female to mature and begin laying her own eggs.
- Head lice are clear in color when hatched, then quickly develop a reddish-brown color after feeding.
- Head lice are about the size of sesame seeds.
- Head lice have six legs equipped with claws to grasp the hair.
- Head lice are crawling insects. They cannot hop, jump, or fly.
- Head lice do not thrive on pets.
- Head lice are small, wingless insects which feed on human blood. They need human blood in order to survive.
- Head lice live for approximately 30 days on a host and a female louse may lay up to 100 nits (eggs).
- Head lice off of their human hosts will starve. In most cases, a head louse will not survive for more than 24 hours off of its human host.
Steps to help keep head lice and their eggs out of your child’s hair
1. Watch for signs of head lice, such as frequent head scratching. Anyone can get head lice, mainly by head-to-head contact but also from sharing hats, brushes and headrests. Lice do not jump or fly.
2. Check all family members for lice and nits (lice eggs) at least once a week. Only those infested should be treated. Lice are reddish-brown wingless insects; nits are grayish-white, always oval shaped, and are glued at an angle to the side of the hair shaft.
3. Be sure not to confuse nits with hair debris such as bright irregularly shaped clumps of dandruff stuck to the hair shaft or elongated segments of dandruff encircling the hair shaft and easily dislodged. Lice treatment is inappropriate for hair debris.
4. Consult your pharmacist or physician before applying or using lice treatment pesticides when the person involved is pregnant or nursing; has allergies, asthma, epilepsy, pre-existing medical conditions, or has lice or nits in the eyebrows or eyelashes. Never use a pesticide on or near the eyes.
5. Remember, all lice-killing products are pesticides. If you choose to purchase an over-the-counter treatment*, follow the directions carefully and use with caution. If the product fails, do not switch to other over-the-counter treatments or use any prescription products as a “last resort.” This can be potentially harmful. Manual removal is the safe alternative and a necessary component to any head lice treatment regimen.
6. Follow package directions carefully. Use the product over the sink, not in the tub or shower. Always keep the eyes covered.
7. Remove all nits. This assures total lice treatment. Separate hair in sections and remove all attached nits with a lice comb, baby safety scissors, or your fingernails.
8. Wash bedding and recently worn clothing in hot water and dry in a hot dryer. Combs and brushes maybe soaked in hot water (not boiling) for 10 minutes.
9. Avoid lice sprays! Vacuuming is the safest and best way to remove lice or fallen hairs with attached nits from upholstered furniture, rugs, stuffed animals and car seats.
10. Check for lice on a regular basis. This is the best way to protect your family and community.
Quick check list
- Hand pick and remove all nits with a fine-tooth comb. This is the most important step.
- Wash in 130-degree water: sheets, blankets, combs, brushes, hair accessories, recently worn clothes, and recently used towels.
- Place in dryer for 20-40 minutes on high: pillows, stuffed animals, coats, blankets.
- Vacuum: furniture, rugs, stuffed animals, car seats, beds, sport helmets, earphones / headsets.
Please follow this link to a resource video on lice removal. We are not endorsing this product, only the procedures described in the video.
Click here to download a PDF of the Lice Procedure in place for the Jackson County School System. It was most recently reviewed by the JCSS Wellness, Health, Safety & Security Committee in 2017.