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First Aid – Treating Lice

First Aid – Treating Lice

What are lice?

Head lice is a scalp infection caused by tiny gray bugs that move quickly and are hard to see. Lice occurs commonly in school age children. Nits are eggs that hatch into lice in about seven days, and their white color makes them easier to see. Nits stick to the hair shafts near the skin and can’t be shaken off. Adult lice live three weeks on the scalp or 24 hours off the scalp. It’s the live lice-not the nits-that transmit lice from one child to another. (13)


How do lice spread?

Lice spread directly from one head of hair to another or, less often, indirectly from hats, caps, hairbrushes, combs, headphones and other objects. Lice spreads most often at home, from sleepovers and bed sharing. Less commonly, it is spread at school, camp or other public places.


What are the symptoms of head lice?

Head lice cause tickling and itching of the scalp. It can also cause a rash on the back of the neck. (13)


What is the treatment for head lice?

The recommended initial treatment for most head lice is 1% Permethrin lotion, with a second application 7 to 10 days later. Follow directions carefully. (14) If your child is under 2 months old or if it is a difficult case of head lice, ask your pediatrician for guidance. (15) Children can usually return to school after one treatment with anti-lice shampoo. (13)


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