WHAT ARE THEY
Head lice are small insects approximately 2 to 4mm long and about 1mm wide. They have six legs with claws and are usually a light or dark brown colour.
Eggs (nits) are small and hard like a grain of salt and ar yellow-white in colour. Eggs are usually found on the hair very close to the scalp. Those found further from the scalp than 1 - 1.5cm away from the scalp are probably dead or hatched.
Eggs are usually easier to see than head lice. Don't be confused by dandruff that is flaky and easily removed. Eggs will feel gritty when you run your fingers through the hair.
HOW DO THEY GET PASSED ON
Head lice crawl from head to head. They cannot jump or swim from person to person. Because children are often in close proximity to one another head lice have opportunities to move from one head to another. This can also happen in the home from child to adult. Young adults spend less time in close proximity to others so transmission of head lice amongst older people is less likely than among the young. Any one can get head lice.
A less likey way they are passed on is through the sharing of things like combs, hairbrushes, hats and other things that touch the head and hair.
Head lice do not cause disease. They may cause an uncomfortable itching. A child with head lice may been seen to scratch excessively.
PREVENTING HEAD LICE
* Avoid head to head contact
* Don't share brushes, combs, hats and other items that come into contact with hair
* Discourage children from playing with each others hair
* Tie long hair back
* Brush hair regularly
* Check the hair of all family members regularly
* Take quick action if you see a child scratching unusually - be sure to check their head thoroughly
There are many ways to treat head lice, natural, chemical, combs etc. Talk to your Pharmacist or doctor for options that will suit you and your family.