The Facts of Lice

What do head lice look like?  Do head lice jump?  Read on for these answers and tips on prevention and more head lice information.

What do I need to know about head lice?

  • They can live up to 30 days and can lay 4-5 eggs per day
  • Can live off a human head for up to 48 hours and live on a head for approx 30 days
  • They are most common in children 5-12 years old because of their play habits.
  • It’s not about a lack of cleanliness. In fact, lice prefer clean, healthy heads.

What do head lice look like?

  • They can be gray, brown or black, changing color depending on when they eat. They get darker after they feed.
  • They come in all different sizes depending on their age. They can grow to 2 ½ times the size of a sesame seed.
  • A newly hatched egg (nit) is black and gets lighter as it ages.

Do head lice jump?

NO, they do not jump or fly. They are usually transmitted by direct head to head contact with an infested person or their belongings.

Tips on preventing head lice

  • DO NOT wash your child’s hair everyday.  Build up of natural oils fortifies the hair shaft, making it more difficult for lice to attach.
  • Teach your child to never share brushes, hats, helmets, scarves, jackets, etc.
  • Tea Tree Oil is most effective at repelling lice, even more effective than Deet. Tea Tree Oil is a natural antiseptic and repels the same way that Citronella works to repel mosquitoes.

BOO! Shampoo and BOO! Leave-in Conditioner are both head lice repellent products available from SoCozy.

Lice detection

  • The most common symptom of an infestation is persistent itching, particularly around the ears, back of neck and crown.
  • Check for small, red bumps or sores.

Identifying nits

  • Nits always attach to one side of the hair shaft and do not come off easily. That is how you know the difference between nits & dandruff or dried gel.
  • Nits are tiny white to light gray colored eggs with a pearly shine and are a tear drop shape.
  • A good lice repellent shampoo will also prevent nits.

Don’t panic! You do not want your child to feel embarrassed or stressed out. There are a few schools of thought on head lice removal. Some believe in chemical removal, others believe in manual removal or smothering. Call your pediatrician; they may provide a lice removal service or may be able to refer to you a service in your town.

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