Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of mother’s everywhere like Head Lice. Just the mention of the words will leave you scratching your head, and many parents list head lice as ‘their worst nightmare.’ Although head lice don’t carry diseases or cause illness, this pesky problem can wreak havoc on your home.
So, how can you tell if your child has lice? It can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what you are looking for. One of the biggest problems with head lice is that there are so many misconceptions about it. Head Lice can happen to anyone, regardless of social class or cleanliness. It is almost always passed via direct head-to-head contact, not from sharing hats or brushes or going to the movies or on a plane. Young children are more susceptible, because they don’t have personal space needs like older children and adults do, and their heads are more likely to touch.
What are the signs of head lice? Many people think that excessive scratching is the first sign of a head lice infestation, but actually, many people don’t itch for two or more weeks after they have contracted the first bug. In fact, by the time your child is itching, they most likely have already had lice for several days or weeks. Your best bet in identifying head lice in your child is to check their heads often, once a week is ideal. You are much more likely to find eggs or nits that you are a bug. Nits are dark brown in color when they are new and viable, and can turn clear or white when they are older and no longer viable. You should look for small, dark brown bubbles that are firmly attached to the hair shaft, less than half an inch from the scalp. If you see things that appear to be stuck to the hair shaft, but they are white and they will slide easily under your fingertips, this is NOT lice. A nit will feel like a hard speed bump under your fingers and will not slide down the hair shaft without using your fingernails. Some children develop a rash at the base of their neck, and yes, eventually they will start itching.
Of course, you can always delegate the checking to the experts at Fresh Heads Lice Removal. Our head checks are incredibly thorough! If you would like peace of mind, please give us a call and schedule your checks!