Health News | Health Tips | Head Lice Information | Immunization Requirements
Medication Guidelines | About Public Health Nurses
Head Lice Information

Prepared by the Genesee County Health Department
for Kearsley Community Schools

Catching Head Lice

A live louse travels from one person to another, usually through head-to-head contact, specifically and possibly by:

Anyone can get head lice - children and adults!

Checking for Head Lice

When to
• Regularly.
• Whenever the head itches
• When it does not itch, especially if it is
possible to have come close to someone with head lice.
Who should be checked? • Each person living in the household.
• Pets are not considered “people”. Pets do not get lice and do not spread lice.
Where to
• Where it itches.
• At the nape of the neck.
• Around and above the ears.
• At the crown of the head.
• Then through the entire head from top to bottom.
What to
look for:
• Live lice.
• Nits (lice eggs).
What do
lice look like?
• About the size of a sesame seed.
• Clear tan to dark red-brown in color.
• Six legs, with claws at the ends.
• Lice do not have wings or springs! They cannot fly or jump.
What do lice eggs (nits) look like? • About the size of a grain of sand.
• Opal or translucent in color.
• It may be hard to tell nits from other things found on the scalp. Dandruff and hair products can be confusing. Nits are firmly attached; others may be easily moved by blowing or whisking.
Do lice move? • Lice crawl very fast from light.
• Nits do not move. They are firmly attached to the hair shaft.
How can they be found? • LOOK – using bright light (60w), sun light or flash light and magnifying glass, if needed.
• USE – disposable sticks (pencil, toothpick, etc.) to part hair.

Getting Rid of Lice and Their Eggs

Treating with a Pediculicide

Follow treatment with:


Delousing the Area

Note: Where time and energy are limited, concentrate on inspection and combing rather than on extra washing of clothing and bedding.



Wipe down with a damp cloth:

If you choose to clean the environment...

Where time and energy are limited, concentrate on inspection and combing rather than on extra washing of clothing and bedding.

A Checklist for Lice

  Check ALL persons living in the household. Treatment should be considered ONLY for those with live lice.
  Remove live lice. Vacuuming, combing with fine-tooth, warm comb or tape works for many.
  Check and remove every two to three days for three weeks OR treat everybody affected with an alternative treatment or special lice shampoo or NIX® Crème Rinse and remove nits.
  Wash hair in sink, not in shower or during a bath.
  Place a towel around the shoulders for the treatment and cover the eyes with a clean cloth.
  Clean combs and brushes and soak in hot water (130°F) or in Lysol® or rubbing alcohol for ten minutes.
  If treated with a shampoo/conditioner, repeat treatment of all affected household members in 7 days. IF lice or nits reappear within 7 days, take them out. Do not treat again before seven days.
  Remind children not to share combs, hats, hair accessories, brushes or sleeping bags and bedding with friends and relatives.
  Inform teachers, friends and parents of playmates so they can be examined and treated if needed.
  If alternative treatment is used, treat hair every 2-3 days for three weeks and remove lice and nits.


Back to Nurse Home Page