Chapter 4: Symptoms of Head Lice

Head Lice Facts

Chapter 4

How do I know if my child has lice? What are the most common symptoms of head lice infestation? While there aren’t any flashing red lights or alarm bells (sorry parents!), if any symptoms are present, the most common of them is excessive itching. While itching can occur anywhere on the scalp, it is typically experienced behind the ears and at the nape of the neck where lice prefer to lay their eggs (it’s nice and warm for their eggs back there!).

Itching can be caused by one or both of the following: lice (live bugs) crawling through the hair and along the scalp can trigger the sensation or, it can be the result of irritation from the bugs’ saliva when they bite to feed. Other symptoms of head lice infestation may include: trouble sleeping, irritability, or in severe cases, secondary infection and swollen lymph glands. If you notice any of these symptoms in your kiddo, it is a good idea to do a quick head check to be sure.

If you know of a head lice outbreak at your child’s school or daycare, be sure to perform regular head checks. Remember, it is possible to have a lice infestation without any symptoms present.

If your kiddo is itching their scalp, irritable, or having trouble sleeping it’s possible they may have lice. Read more on how to check for lice.

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