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How to Avoid Catching Head Lice

With an estimated 6 to 12 million cases of head lice each year in the United States, there is a chance your child could come home with it. However, regular screenings and simple prevention tips may help you avoid a head lice infestation. Check your child's hair weekly for eggs, nits, and adult lice, and teach your child to not share brushes, combs, hats, or other items that involve head-to-head contact.

 

Oh No, Not Lice!

Parents see quite a bit with raising children -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. However, most parents hope the day never comes when their child is sent home from school because they have lice. Just hearing the word "lice" can make anyone's head itch.
 
However, there are ways to stay one step ahead of these blood-sucking insects. Even if you know that your child has been around someone who has lice, there are things you can do to help prevent these little mites from infesting your child and home.
 

Staying a Step Ahead of Lice

Head lice usually spread by direct head-to-head contact. However, they can also crawl on to clothing or other items. Tips to help prevent infestations include teaching your children:
 
  • How to avoid head-to-head contact with others during playtime and other activities that are likely to spread lice, such as at slumber parties, sports activities, and the playground
     
  • To not lie down on pillows, beds, couches, carpets, or any stuffed animals that have recently been used by someone who has lice
     
  • To avoid sharing clothing, such as coats, hats, scarves, wigs, or hair ribbons
     
  • To not share combs, brushes, or towels
     
  • How to pack his or her own pillow and blanket when going to a slumber party.
     
To help prevent a head lice infestation from spreading to other household members, or at least to catch it early, try to perform weekly hair checks on your child's hair for any signs of lice or nits.
 
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About Head Lice

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