Preschool and elementary-age children and their families most often get head lice.
Head lice are small insects that live on people's heads.
Lice are found on the scalp behind the ears near the neckline at the back of the neck. They are rarely found on the body, eyelashes or eyebrows.
Head lice are most common among children ages 3 to 10 and their families. Girls and women get head lice more often than boys and men. In the U.S., blacks rarely get head lice.
If your child has lice, it does not mean that she, your family or your house is unclean.
Lice hold onto the hair with hook-like claws that are at the end of each of their six legs. Head lice are spread by:
Symptoms of head lice are:
There are three forms of head lice:
You can find head lice by looking at your child's scalp. It can be difficult to find a nymph or adult louse. If you do not see crawling lice, look for nits within one-quarter inch of the scalp.
Up to 40 percent (nearly half) of head lice do not respond to over-the-counter treatment.
Call your health care provider to make an appointment if you:
Teach your child not to:
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5 Years Old, fifth edition. To avoid awkward sentences, instead of referring to your child as "he/she" or "him/her," this guide will alternate between "he" or she" and "him" or "her."
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts, including the Pediatric Department of Allina Health Coon Rapids Clinic