Head lice are parasites that live first and foremost in a person’s scalp. They flourish here and lay their eggs and increase their numbers. One should learn how to prevent head lice from infecting a member of your family because the removal of these parasites can be bothersome and may require a long time.
Causes of Head Lice
Causes Personal cleanliness and hygiene have nothing to do with getting infected with lice. It is a myth that being unclean or living in unhygienic conditions puts a person at a risk of getting infected. Lice cannot fly, jump or walk on the ground, and they are not transmitted by pets. The fact is that head lice get passed on from person to person through close body contact or head-to-head contact. You can also get lice by sharing hats, pillows, beds, towels, combs, clothes, headphones and other items with a person who is infected. Anyone can get head lice, but they are more common among school-aged children. Head lice spread more easily among children 3–12 years of age because they share their belongings more often than adults and play close together. Females of all ages get head lice more often than males do.
Symptoms of Head Lice
The main symptom is an itchy head (caused by the louse’s saliva when it removes a tiny amount of blood from the scalp), but a person can have head lice and not know it. “The gold standard for diagnosing lice is finding a live one on the head, but they can be very difficult to spot,” notes Will. They crawl fast (up to 12 inches or 30 cm per hour – that’s fast if you’re the size of a sesame seed!) but do not fly or jump.
Head lice prevention
One sure way to prevent head lice infestations is to nip it in the bud by learning what signs to look for in a child. The signs of a head lice infestation are vigorous scratching of the head, the presence of nits or egg cases and possibly dirty pillows.