Two girls sitting on a bed playing with a stuffed toy.

How Is Head Lice Spread and Is It Contagious?

When you’re holding a notice from your child’s school informing a recent lice outbreak, it’s easy to panic at the thought that your kids may be infected with the pesky critters. However, you don’t need to keep the children home from school just yet.

If you’re dealing with a lice outbreak and want to keep you and your child’s head safe from lice infestations, learning how to identify lice and how it spreads can save you from head-scratching moments.

Are Lice Contagious?

Head lice can be contagious, but not in a way you would think. When people say the word ‘contagious,’ it’s easy to imagine how viruses or diseases spread from one host to the next using airborne methods. Lice, on the other hand, will only invade your hair if you come in direct head-to-head contact with a person who has lice.

Even if lice fall off hair strands, keep in mind that it cannot survive for more than 24 hours off the human scalp. It also cannot jump, and its only way of travel is through crawling, which means that you won’t automatically get head lice just by sitting next to someone who is harboring one.

This means that the only way to spread head lice is if you or your children come into personal contact with the infected person’s head.

How to Spots the Tell-Tale Signs of Lice Invasion on Your Kid’s Head

If you’re afraid that your child has come into close contact with someone who has head lice, it’s best to look closer at their head for any signs of unwanted life crawling out and about. The most obvious symptom is when your children start to itch, especially in areas like the neck, hairlines, and behind ears.

However, itching doesn’t necessarily start in the earlier stages. If you want to get a head start before the infestation becomes too much to handle, watch out for the following warning signs of head lice:

  • Direct light on their head. Lice hate the light, so they will start to move away quickly. Adult lice look like small, sesame seeds with a 1/16 inch long body and reddish-brown color. Nits, on the other hand, are whitish eggs that are firmly attached to individual hair strands.
  • Even if you only see nits, consider seeking professional lice removal treatment as it is a red flag of a start of a head lice infestation.

Removing Head Lice Once and For All

If you or your children get infected with head lice, there are options to get rid of the pesky insects. However, you should avoid home remedies and over-the-counter shampoos as they are ineffective, which increases the risk of infecting other people, especially other children living within the same household.

Professional lice removal offers a quick solution that can eliminate the lice living in your kid’s locks for good. Just to be safe, it’s best to clean your home, sanitize brushes, and change your children’s sheets to ensure any lice are eradicated before they become an issue.

We’re a professional lice removal service in Jacksonville and Orlando, FL, and Savannah, GA. Book your appointment today!


Schools Without Lice.

Schools Without Lice

Our goal at Fresh Heads Lice Removal is to eradicate lice from schools across the country. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Lice Clinics of America to create a program called Schools Without Lice. This program gives teachers and nurses free screenings, resources, and treatments. Together, we can have schools without lice!

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