Lice: What to do if your child comes home with lice

 In Health Library

M.D./ALERT — Health Tips

  • Don’t panic, anyone -adults or children -can get head lice.
  • Head lice are passed from person to person by direct contact or on shared objects (combs, towels, headphones, etc.).
  • Head lice have nothing to do with cleanliness and can be easily eliminated.
  • Check every member of the family for tiny white eggs (nits) on hair shafts, near the scalp.
  • Use an effective head lice treatment on every family member with lice or nits.
  • Several good treatments are available without a prescription.
  • After application, remove all nits by gently combing hair with the special nit removal comb provided with the lice treatment.
  • Wash clothes, bed linens, and towels in hot water and dry on hot cycle for at least 20 minutes.
  • Items such as headphones and helmets must be stored at room temperature in a tightly sealed plastic bag for at least two weeks.
  • Soak combs, brushes, hair bands, etc., in water at least 130 degrees F for at least 10 minutes.
  • Vacuum everywhere including carpets, pillows, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and even car seats.
  • Head lice cannot survive on family pets; they need a human host, so you do not need to worry about treating pets.
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