What Are Head Lice and How to Get Rid of Them

What Are Head Lice and How to Get Rid of Them

Head lice are insects that live exclusively on human scalps. Their only source of food is human blood. While most species are found on humans, other mammals, such as chimpanzees, are also known to host them. Head lice are extremely common and can make your life miserable if not treated immediately.

Adult lice are the size of a sesame seed and are grayish-white or tan in color. They hatch from eggs attached to hair shafts less than 1/4 inch (5 millimeters) away from the scalp. Once attached to a human scalp, these lice feed on human blood several times a day. They can live for up to 30 days and then die. They lay six to ten eggs per day.

To treat a child with head lice, you should wash all of their clothing in hot water and dry it on high heat. Then, seal the clothing in a plastic bag for 2 weeks. After the treatment is complete, you should check all members of the household. If you suspect that your child has head lice, it is important to visit a doctor or health department to find out what the best treatment is.

Head lice can easily be spread between children, so it is important to treat your child right away. Children should avoid close head-to-head contact, especially at school and home. If your child has been in contact with another child with head lice, you should check them as well. Getting rid of head lice can be very frustrating, but if you follow the instructions properly, you’ll have a lice-free child in no time.