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  • 10 FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HEAD LICE 1) Anyone can get head lice. The problem in controlling head lice is rapidly identifying persons

    who have been infested and ensuring that proper procedures are followed to eliminate the problem and the possibilities of reinfestation around the home.

    2) Lice are small insects that live on the human body and survive by sucking blood from the

    host. They lay eggs very close to the scalp, which are cemented to the hair shafts. The lice themselves vary in size from about one-sixteenth to one-eighth in length and vary in color from a light gray to a rust color.

    3) The nits (eggs) are about the size of a typewritten comma (,). Eggs that have been laid

    recently will be a dark brownish color, while those that have hatched will be a whitish color. Eggs will normally hatch within seven to ten days. Since hair grows at a rate of one-fourth inch per week, the length of time a person has been infested can be determined by measuring the distance of the egg from the scalp.

    4) Once removed from the body, lice can live only 48 hours. The eggs once removed from the

    body will not hatch at temperatures below 72 degrees F. 5) Some people with lice infestations may have symptoms of itching on the scalp. Other people

    may be totally unaware that they have been infested. 6) Lice can be found anywhere on the head. However, lice infestations are usually diagnosed

    by the presence of the eggs on the hair shaft. 7) Head lice are transmitted by either close personal contact (head to head contact) or by

    contact with items that may come in contact with the head of an infested person (hats, combs, brushes, pillows, cloth upholstery on chairs, carpeting, or car seats.)

    8) Lice do not jump or fly; they crawl by grasping hair shafts or coarse cloth fibers. They cannot

    climb walls or vinyl upholstery. 9) Treatment of lice infestations may be accomplished by: a) Shampooing the infested person with a pediculosis shampoo twice AN INITIAL TREATMENT FOLLOWED BY 7-10 DAYS LATER BY ANOTHER TREATMENT,

    or b) Using Nix Crme Rinse. 10) In addition, the following steps must be taken to prevent reinfestation:

    a) Combs or brushes may be soaked in one of the shampoos or may be soaked in a pan of hot water heated on a stove to 150 degrees F. for 5 10 minutes.

    b) Clothing or bedding used in the previous 48 hours should be

    1. Machine washed hot (125 degrees F. for 5 10 minutes), or 2. Placed in a hot dryer (125 degrees F. for 5 10 minutes), or 3. Dry cleaned, or 4. Stored in a plastic bag for 10 days.

    c) A simple vacuuming of carpeting and cloth upholstery is sufficient to remove lice eggs from the home or car.

    d) Children should be told not to borrow combs, brushes, hats or coats from other children.

    e) Parents of childrens playmates should be alerted to have their child examined.


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