Head lice are common among children and can be passed from one person to another through close head-to-head contact. Unlike other parasites that spread from one human to another, lice cannot jump or hop. They spread through prolonged close head-to-head contact. Symptoms of an infestation vary according to the type and severity. If you suspect you have head lice, it is best to seek medical advice.
Head lice are a nuisance that can disrupt sleep and cause itching. They also feed on the scalp and can damage it. You might even get sick if you have a severe infestation. These tiny creatures can leave you feeling “lousy” – a term that comes from the fact that head lice feed on your blood.
The best way to prevent the spread of head lice is to keep personal items from getting into other people’s heads. This includes not sharing your child’s hats or stuffed animals with others. Moreover, you should wash these personal items in hot water and dry them with a hot clothes dryer. If you can’t wash these items, you should seal them in a plastic bag for at least two weeks. Soaking hair brushes in hot water will also kill lice.
The adult louse is just a few millimeters long. It’s grayish white or tan, and has six legs with claws. It lives for about a month when attached to your head and only one or two days after it falls off.