You can learn how to prevent head lice infestation if you understand how it occurs in the first place. Although some people think you can get head lice from being in the mere presence of an infested person, head lice to do not fly or jump. You must come in direct contact with a louse for it to transfer to your head.

Common ways head lice are spread include:

  • Coming into direct contact with an already infested person.  In schools, it is common for children to transfer head lice during recess, while riding on the school bus, or during classroom activities where they sit in close groups together.
  • Sharing infested items such as hats, scarves, coats, hair accessories, hair brushes, or stuffed animals.
  • Sitting or lying on a bed, couch, pillow or carpet that that been infested with head lice.

So what are some head lice prevention steps?

  • If children are present in the household, keep in touch with the local schools as lice outbreaks are usually reported to school nurses and administrators.
  • Teach children to avoid sharing personal items at school, such as hats, scarves and hair brushes.
  • Check the heads of family members periodically for lice and eggs. Fine-tooth steel nit combs are great tools for going through hair to check for an infestation. A successful head check includes starting at the nape of the neck and behind the ears and working forward. Use the nit comb to check the hair section by section under a bright light.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of head lice so you can catch an infestation early and treat it.

If an outbreak does occur, treat with a pediculicide making sure to take it slow and follow all directions completely. Carefully remove all dead lice and nits after treatment with a nit comb. Even if all lice and eggs appear to be gone, following through with a second treatment within 7 days and random head checks can prevent future reinfestations.