Are you worried your child may have head lice, but don’t know for sure?
Some children who experience head lice will only be affected once in their lifetime, so it is common for parents not to be familiar with the signs of having head lice.
Here are five of the most common symptoms to be aware of to indicate that your child may have head lice, so you can act quickly and stop the spread upon discovery.
1. Persistent itching
Persistent itching can take place in and around the scalp, behind the ears and even on the neck. Itching may be caused by an allergic reaction to louse bites or sensitivity to its saliva. Even though itching is a common symptom, it is not present in everyone (in fact up to 50% of people don’t experience itching!).
2. Tickling feeling or crawling sensation
Does your child communicate the feeling of something tickling, crawling, or moving in their hair? This may be a sign of headlice.
3. Irritability and difficulty sleeping
The presence of head lice can often cause discomfort and general restlessness.
4. Sores or red bumps on the scalp
Scratching the itchy areas can lead to sores and bumps. Be on the lookout for this sign, as such sores can lead to infections if left untreated.
5. Presence of lice
It is common to see lice and their nits (eggs) stuck on the hair. However, head lice do not live away from the head so there should be no fear of lice spreading to clothes, furniture, hairbrushes, hats, helmets, toys or bedding. Much to people’s surprise, excessive cleaning of household and personal items is not required!
Head lice can range in size and shape, depending on the stage of their lifecycle, but most won’t grow bigger than the size of a sesame seed. They need warmth and food (blood) to survive and generally stay close to the scalp.
To spot them, look closely at the hair near the scalp to see lice and their nits(eggs). Lice can blend in with the hair, making them hard to spot and may move quickly to hide. Nits are stuck to the hair and can easily be mistaken for dandruff or residue from hairstyling products, however, cannot be moved by just brushing or flicking them off the hair.
If you have noticed any of these top 5 signs and suspect your child has head lice, it is important to confirm with a thorough inspection of the scalp and hair. Start by having your child sit under bright light to better detect any lice that may be living in their hair. Use a fine-tooth comb such as Nitwits Head Lice Comb and separate hair into sections for better visibility. Make sure to thoroughly check behind the ears and the back of neck, as lice like to hide here when disturbed.
Always follow the directions for use when using any product. If symptoms persist seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Remember to be gentle on yourself and your child and don’t panic! Nitwits is here to help.