How Can I Tell If My Kid Has Lice?

Head Lice! Just the mention of the words will leave you scratching your head and overwhelmed. Just knowing your child may have head lice can be alarming and send parents into a panic. Knowing how to tell if your child has lice can be tricky, especially if you have not ever seen head lice eggs or nits before. One of the biggest problems with head lice is the common myths. 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 itching 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.  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 than 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 finger tips, this is NOT lice.  A nit will feel like a hard speed bump under your fingers and will not slide down the hair shaft.  Some children develop a rash at the base of their neck. Heartland Healthy Heads is always here to help. You can always delegate the checking to the experts at Heartland Healthy Heads Lice Removal and Resource Center.  Our professional head checks are incredibly thorough!  If you would like peace of mind give us a call at 913-730-NITS (6487).