Anyone can get head lice. It has nothing to do with clean or dirty hair, or the cleanliness of your home. Head lice do not spread disease but can cause a lot of frustration.
You may notice signs that your child might have head lice such as itching, complaining of a tickling feeling in the hair or sores on the scalp due to scratching.
Or, you may get a call from school letting you know that your child has been checked and has head lice.
Lice are tiny grey/brown insects that crawl quickly but cannot jump or fly. Finding them can be difficult, and you might only find eggs glued to the hair shaft.
Use a bright light and look for lice at forehead, crown, around ears, and nape of the neck.
The best way to check for head lice is to look for them in hair that has been soaked with conditioner. If there are head lice, the conditioner will slow them down making them easier to find. This is called the wet combing method.
If you find lice:
Only treat those who have live head lice. Everyone in the home with lice needs to be treated at the same time or the lice will spread back from an untreated person.
If you have already used a head lice product in the last few days, speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about what to do next.
Treatment products do not prevent lice and should be used only on those who have head lice. Talk to a health professional about products and methods available, and:
Learn more about head lice from the Canadian Paediatric Society or connect with a public health nurse at Niagara Parents.