So many questions and misconceptions surround the topic of head lice. When my kids were in grade school and I got the "lice note" from school I had so much anxiety and a lot of questions. I asked the nurse "where do lice come from", she replied "they live in trees." I remember thinking that I best not stand under trees while lice was going around my town. Now I realize just how crazy that response was!
I get asked a lot of questions and there is a lot of false information out there. I'm going to share some of the frequent ones and give you accurate information. Here goes--
Question-If something is stuck on the hair and won't move is it a nit?
Answer- Everything that sticks to the hair shaft and doesn't easily move is not a nit. Nits are symmetrical, oval and attached at a slight angle to the hair shaft (see photo).
Question- if my daughter was at a sleepover ( dance class, soccer game, movie,- you get the idea just fill in any activity) with someone that has lice does that mean she will also have lice?
Answer- No don't make any assumptions, get your child checked, yes you can see lice/ nits the same day that they get it. Lice don't incubate, you can see the nits and bugs right away. Early detection will avoid spreading it to your whole family. I know this is not what most moms want to hear, but usually if more than one person in a family has lice it turns out to be us moms
Question- Will lice go away on it's own if untreated?
Answer- No lice don't ever go away on their own. I recently saw a girl that had more than 500 lice and 1000's of nits. I know this sounds extreme- it was! My head was itchy for days (no i didn't have lice but I sure felt like I could have after seeing that many at one time).
Question- If I'm not itchy then do I have lice?
Answer- Don't assume that everyone that has lice is itchy. Some people are more sensitive to bugs feeding off of their scalp (I know it's not a pleasant thought. The bugs biting or feeding is what makes some people itch.)
Question- Why do some people get lice and not others?
Answer- The problem with lice is that when your child has had lice, they are at more risk of getting it back again in a short time frame because everyone isn't doing their part and taking care of their own children. I do think that some people attract bugs more than others and that includes head lice.
I will continue to collect questions and post them and facts again soon.