Easiest Ways to Catch Lice

Lice are tiny parasites that live in human hair and feast on blood. The quickly become an infestation as females may lay up to six eggs a day during their 30-day adulthood. Lice affect millions of people each year, most of them children between the ages of 3 and 11. Hearing that a student in your child’s classroom, or finding out that your own child, has lice can be a frightening time, causing you to worry about how to stop lice from spreading. While this insect does spread easily, understanding how it does can help you prevent spreading from occurring.

How Do Lice Move?

An important thing to understand about lice is how they move. These insects crawl, using six small legs to grip to the strands of your hair. They cannot fly, nor can they jump. They can only walk, but they do move relatively quickly, from one location to the next.

Head to Head Contact

The absolute easiest way to catch lice is having direct head to head contact with a person who is infested. This is why children tend to be the most susceptible. They spend many hours a day in close proximity with one another. Should they hug, and their hair touch, the lice can be transferred from the infested person to their new host.

Hairbrushes

Lice, and their eggs, can come off in a hairbrush, or stay stuck on strands of hair that have fallen out in the hairbrush. Should an infected person brush their hair, and then another person uses the same brush in the same day, those lice can then be accidentally placed in the second person’s hair.

Hair Accessories

Girls tend to be more likely than boys to get lice. This is because young girls like to share hair accessories, such as headbands, hair ties and clips. Any lice that may be currently resting on a hair accessory of an infested individual can easily make their new home in the hair of the person borrowing that accessory.

Hats

Have you ever seen a hat you really like and wonder how it would look on you? Did you grab it off the shelf to try it on in front of a mirror? There’s a reason your mother always told you not to try on hats in a store. Lice can come off on the inside of the hat from the head of an infected individual. You never know who tried on that hat before you, or how long ago they did so. Even though lice need a host to survive, they can live about 24 hours without food. So, if an infected person put that same hat on their head within that timeframe and then you put it on, there’s a good chance that those lice could be transferred to you.

Sports Equipment

If your child plays a sport that requires the use of a helmet, or the use of a towel, make sure they have their own equipment. Much like hats, lice can come off in a helmet, or be scrubbed off the head by a towel, and then go right on to the head of the next person who uses that equipment right after.

Sharing Furniture

If your child has lice, it is important to avoid laying your head anywhere near where he or she might have been, including pillows, blankets, and even the sofa cushions. Lice may have come off in these areas. In order to prevent spread, keep your hair up and covered, and wash all linens and fabrics that can be washed, remove stuffed animals for a couple of days, and vacuum the house.

Hearing that someone that your child (or you) have come in contact with has lice can set off alarm bells. Rest assured, there is no need to worry. Your best defense is understanding how they are caught which can greatly help aid in the prevention of their spread.

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