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Symptoms of Head Lice

Summary: The best method of lice prevention is early detection and treatment by manual removal of lice and lice eggs. Knowing the symptoms of head lice will help you prevent their spread.

Head lice contamination is a serious issue that deserves the attention of everyone, especially parents. Head lice are the most frequently occurring communicable disease in children, so having a clear understanding of this mite is necessary to prevent its spread. While head lice are considered only a nuisance by most people, the truth is that lice are capable of spreading serious diseases such as Typhus.

Most schools and business have a very sensible œNo Nit Policy that bans anyone with head lice or their eggs, called nits, from attending school or work. This preventative policy is the best way of stopping the spread of lice because any inconvenience caused by excluding someone from school or work is minor compared to the inconvenience of treating a lice outbreak.

The most obvious signs of hair head lice is head or neck scratching. Sometimes a rash occurs and is especially bad behind ears or on the neck, but head lice can be present for weeks without causing any redness. Also look for nits stuck to hair as the hair grows longer. The fecal droppings from lice look like fine black pepper on sheets and pillow cases.

Careful screening should be carried out regularly at schools and other public places like hospitals. Know the difference between a nit and simple hair debris. Hair debris can be easily removed, while nits cling to the hair shaft.

Head lice can only be passed from person to person through direct contact. The idea that head lice can spread by jumping from person to person is a myth. By knowing that someone is carrying head lice, it is possible to treat them and stop the spread of the disease.

Chemical head lice treatments do not prevent head lice. Plus, products such as Kwell shampoo contain the chemical Lindane and should not be used out of concerns for children's health. These products may have serious side effects that outweigh the benefit of eliminating lice.

Natural or herbal treatments should also be used only after consulting a doctor because most of these treatments are not scientifically tested. Again, these treatments will not prevent lice, and nits and lice have actually been shown to be resistant to many of these kinds of treatments.

Pesticides and exterminators are not needed to eliminate lice from inside of homes or schools. Lice can only survive for a single day away from the human body. Vacuuming and washing of contaminated areas and clothing will sufficiently eliminate lice. Lice discovered on the body can be removed by physically picking them off individually or with a special lice comb designed to facilitate this somewhat tedious process.

All lice and nits need to be removed before it is safe for the infected person to rejoin society.

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