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How can I keep my child from catching head lice?

 In Ask an Expert, Health Tips, Pediatrics, Pulse Blog

Q: What can I do to keep my child from coming home from school with a case of head lice?

Getting a head lice infestation has nothing to do with personal hygiene—anyone can become infested. Children and adults who come in close contact with someone who has head lice are at risk for acquiring head lice. Even simply coming in contact with their contaminated clothing puts you at risk.

Head lice are most frequently located on the scalp, behind the ears, and near the neckline at the back of neck. Infestation usually occurs when a child lies on a bed, couch, pillow, or stuffed animals that have been in contact with a person with head lice during the last 48 hours.

Teaching children to avoid sharing combs, brushes, hats, coats, and scarves may reduce their risk of becoming infested.

To effectively eliminate head lice, the infested individual, infested family members, and the home must be treated. Pets do not need to be treated, as head lice do not live on them.

If you need help reviewing treatment options, talk to your pediatrician.

Juan Rivera, pediatrician at The Vancouver Clinic

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