Head Lice Overview

Head lice are a common community problem. An estimated 6 to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States, most commonly among children ages 3 to 11 years old. Though a head lice infestation is often spotted in school, it is usually acquired through direct head-to-head contact elsewhere, such as at sleepovers or camp.

Head lice are not dangerous, and they do not transmit disease. Additionally, despite what you might have heard, head lice often infest people with good hygiene and grooming habits. Your family, friends, or community may experience head lice. It’s important to know some basics, including how to recognize symptoms and what to do if faced with an infestation.

Parents can help prevent lice outbreaks by regularly checking their child's hair for eggs and providing immediate treatment if lice are detected. It is important to also discourage your child from sharing combs, brushes or hats. Your school nurse or health coordinator is happy to provide you with the information you need to address any head lice issue that may occur, and encourage you to talk with your healthcare provider to resolve the problem as quickly and effectively as possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your school's health office!