Head lice are common in B.C. communities. Although they are a bother, head lice are not a health risk.
Head lice are tiny, greyish brown, wingless insects that live on the scalp, feeding on human blood. They lay eggs, also called nits, which stick to strands of hair very close to the scalp.
The Facts on head lice:
- head lice are common
- anyone who has hair can get head lice
- head lice do not spread any diseases
- head lice are primarily transmitted when the head of an infested individual comes in direct contact with the head of another
Island Health recommends:
- children continue to be included in all school activities when lice is suspected or confirmed
- regular head lice screening be performed at home by the family using the wet combing method to improve accuracy and maintain confidentiality
- families learn the benefits and risks of the various treatment methods for head lice
What parents and caregivers can do:
- learn how to check for live lice using wet combing and be aware of the recommended treatment options
- conduct weekly wet combing checks identify head lice re-infestations as it is possible to have head lice more than once
- treat only family members with live lice