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Head Lice Prevention

Head Lice Basics


Updated September 03, 2006

When thinking about head lice, most parents focus on head lice treatments, as they try to rid their kids of head lice infestations.

Just as important though, if not more important, especially as head lice become increasing resistant to regular head lice treatments, is to learn about head lice prevention.

Remember, head lice don't usually jump from one child's head to another child. Instead, they spread by direct contact, maybe using something like a hat or hairbrush to help them get from one child's head to anothers.

Head Lice Prevention

To prevent your child from getting head lice, it can help to:
  • teach them to avoid sharing things that have been on or near another child's head, including hairbrushes, combs, hats, scarves, towels, helmets, etc.
  • make sure your child hangs up his coat and hat on an individual hook, or some other separate area, when he gets to school, instead of just throwing them in a pile with other classmates' clothing
  • regularly clean things that your child's head has direct contact with, such as car seats, pillows, head phones, etc., if you are sharing these items with other children
However, since 'young children come into close head-to-head contact with each other frequently,' according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 'it is probably impossible to totally prevent head lice infestations.' That makes it important to check your children regularly for nits and live head lice so that you can discover a head lice infestation as early as possible and begin treatment before it spreads to the rest of your family and your child's friends and classmates.

1AAP Clinical Report. Head Lice. PEDIATRICS Vol. 110 No. 3 September 2002, pp. 638-643.

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