60 second version
Head lice are harmless and do not carry disease. They do spread easily and should be treated quickly to avoid scalp irritation and itching. Your health provider can give you good advice that will include using a fine-toothed comb to remove lice eggs and regular washing of bedding. Know that some children are allergic, so an infection of irritated skin could occur.
A Longer Look
School has started again, creating the opportunity for head lice to enjoy an entirely new group of kids.
Head lice are harmless and do not carry disease. However, they can be very irritating and cause a lot of itching. They are hardy little critters and spread easily on clothing, and by personal contact. They can also travel on shared combs, brushes, hats, or helmets.
Head lice are small but can be seen if searched for carefully. Most often they are detected by their eggs, called nits, which are attached to the shafts of a child’s hair.
There are several different medicines that can be used to treat head lice cases, and your health provider should be consulted for a proper recommendation.
A fine-toothed comb can be used to remove nits. Always wash combs and other personal hair items in hot water. Bed clothing should also be regularly washed in hot water while treating the problem.
Keep in mind that while lice are more irritating than harmful, some children may be allergic to their presence and severe itching may produce breaks in the skin that could lead to infection.
Back to school should be a busy and fun time for children. One thing they do not need, however, is a “lousy” start.