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Treating Head Lice

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there is an average of anywhere from 6-12 million cases of head lice reported annually in children ages 3-11. Head lice infestation occurrences happen year round and can be potentially problematic as lice is easily spread from child to child.   First, let's clear up a few misconceptions about head lice. -- Lice is not caused by poor hygiene or contact with animals -- Lice transfers during direct contact with an affected individual -- Lice do not fly or jump, they crawl   So, what is head lice? -- Lice are small (sesame seed size), grey-white insects -- Lice attach to the skin of the scalp and neck and move by crawling -- Lice feed on human blood and lay their eggs (nits) in the hair -- Lice will die within 1-2 days without feeding on human blood -- With a good food supply, adult lice can live for about 30 days and male lice can lay about 6 eggs each day   Spotting head lice -- Separate the hair in various spots and look toward the base of the hair and scalp -- Lice can move quickly, so it may be easier to spot nits at the base of hairs -- Nits appear like dandruff but will cling to the hair if you run your finger along it   Avoiding head lice -- Advise children to minimize head-to-head contact with other children at school or in daycare and avoid sharing or trading items like hats, scarves, headphones, towels, uniforms, brushes, and combs -- Clean anything that has been in contact with head lice for at least 5-10 minutes in water over 130° F -- Avoid contact with areas where head lice have been for 1-2 days, like beds and carpets   How to treat head lice -- Apply head lice products, like Rid or Nix, according to the manufacturer's directions -- Clean out any lice or nits with a fine comb and then repeat the application and removal process -- Physicians may be able to recommend additional products   Source:
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