Finding out that your child has head lice isn’t a very pleasant discovery. But don’t despair. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent, just that lice are very good at moving from child to child. Head lice are passed on through head-to-head contact. A school playground with lots of children playing closely together is the ideal place for lice to spread. Once your child has them they can often get passed onto the rest of the family as well. 

What they look like?

Head lice are wingless little insects that like to make their home in people’s hair. The lice are pretty hard to spot but their favourite hiding places are behind the ears and on the back of the neck.

The lice don’t carry any diseases - but that doesn’t make them any less unpleasant! Head lice feed on human blood and, as they do, spill saliva onto the scalp. This is what often makes the scalp itchy.

Female lice lay their eggs near the base of hairs, about 1.5cm from the scalp. The eggs (called nits) look a lot like dandruff. A mature louse is about the size of a sesame seed, has six legs, and claws that grasp the hair tightly, making it difficult to remove them.