Head Lice Facts

Chapter 5

First thing's first, having your child seated makes maneuvering around as you search for these little pests much easier. It is recommended to perform a head check in bright, natural light or under an equally bright reading lamp. Part the hair into small, 1 inch sections and examine the hair and scalp carefully.

Lice can be hard to spot because they move quite quickly, and shy away from light. They are also very small, about the size of a sesame seed. Lice range in color from clear to reddish brown. Nits (or, head lice eggs) are about the size of a poppy seed and can range in color from white to yellowish brown specs. Nits are typically found firmly attached to the hair shaft, approximately ¼" from the base of the scalp. Remember, if it is a nit, it will be hard to remove. If it is easily brushed or blown away, it is likely dandruff. You might find it helpful to examine the hair from different angles.  

If you do discover that your child has a head lice infestation, contact the school for information regarding their head lice policy. Some (but, not all) schools have what is called a "no nit" policy. Meaning, children are not allowed back to school until they are completely free of all lice and nits.