If you suspect that your child has head lice, you should take steps to get rid of them as soon as possible. The first step is to thoroughly check your child’s clothing and bedding for signs of lice. Pubic lice are difficult to see with the naked eye, so you might need a magnifying glass to identify them. The infection can lead to several complications if left untreated. The most common symptom is itching, which is caused by a reaction to the louse’s saliva. Some people are extremely sensitive to this saliva, while others may develop a tolerance to it over time. Itching may begin a few days to several weeks after infestation, depending on the severity of the infestation.
You should wash any clothes and bedding your child has worn within the past 48 hours. Be sure to dry them in a hot dryer. You should also vacuum any carpets and furniture. You should also notify your child’s school, preschool, and child care service. Children who have head lice should stay home for at least a day.
If you are unsure of whether your child has head lice, you can conduct an examination by looking for the nits on the scalp with a fine-tooth comb and a magnifying glass. If you find live lice on the scalp, you should treat it immediately. If you find eggs, you should also treat the eggs as soon as possible.