Children may barely notice head lice, or have only a mild scalp irritation. The most common symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Small red bumps on scalp, neck and shoulders (lice bites)
  • Infection, accompanied by swollen glands (less common)

Scratching the itch could lead to sores on the scalp or around the neck and ears. Severe cases may cause swollen lymph glands. Other signs may include eggs and, in some cases, live lice in the hair, frequent head scratching, loss of sleep, shortened attention span and depression.