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Lice – A true Bugaboo (Body Fact #11)

School is back in session. And with school come lice. At some point or another, there is a good chance that you and your children will come across these pesky little critters. If it does happen, here is a short article you can share with the kids.

Lice are tiny insects that live in the hair. They can’t jump or fly, but they have special claws that help them crawl and grab onto hair. The good news is that they only like people’s hair, so you don’t have to worry about your dog or cat getting them.

Having lice does not mean that you have not washed your hair enough or that your body is not clean. They spread rapidly from person to person whenever people touch their heads or share personal items, such as combs, hats, football helmets, pillows, and even sleeping bags.

Tell your mom and dad or the school nurse if you feel something moving in your hair, if your scalp itches, or if other children you know have head lice. Your parents or the nurse can recognize them by looking for lice eggs (called nits). Nits are small yellow, tan, or brown dots attached to the hair. They look like dandruff, but cannot be combed out.

If you have lice, don’t worry! There are many special medicated shampoos, creams and lotions at the drugstore that will kill them. You will need the help of your parents to apply the medicine. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions to get rid of lice and prevent them from coming back.


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