How Do I Know If Child Has Lice?

Typically, when a child has lice, the first word the parents hear of it comes from the school. Often, school districts will hold lice inspection days periodically. During this period, the school nurse will examine the scalp of each student, seeking out any lice or eggs on the head. Should one be found, the student is quietly sent home, and a notice is sent out to the parents of the school district.

However, you may notice telltale signs at home. For instance:

  • Itchiness – The most common sign of head lice is itching. Lice bites generally cause an allergic reaction that brings an itchy feeling to the scalp of the afflicted. However, not everyone feels itchiness right away, especially during a light infestation. Sometimes, itching does not appear for up to six weeks.
  • Red bumps on the scalp
  • The appearance of lice eggs, or small, white objects attached to the hair follicles
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Sores from scratching at itches
  • A tickling feeling, like something moving on your head or hair

While head lice are known for causing an itchy scalp, many other skin conditions, including dandruff, eczema, or shampoo allergies, can as well. Therefore, it is crucial that you know how to best check for lice, especially on your children.

First, wet the child’s hair. Water will slow down any lice on the scalp, making them easier to locate. Next, use a fine-toothed comb to part the hair, and shine a bright flashlight onto the scalp. If lice are present, you’ll spot small, brown insects, about the size of a sesame seed, moving around. Many parents mistake dirt for lice. Dirt is easily combed out, while lice are slightly more difficult.

If you or your child have a lice outbreak, we recommend Lice Lifters for comprehensive treatment options!