Are Head Lice Contagious?

by | Feb 19, 2019 | Lice in Science, Lice Treatments, parenting | 0 comments

Head lice are a human parasite that is indeed highly contagious. Here at Lice Clinics of Texas one of the most frustrating and common scenarios we see is parents that finally come to us because they simply cannot get rid of head lice. Their child may have brought it into the home from school or daycare and the problem seems to never go away, no matter how many store-bought treatments they use. Over and over again this is a common problem.


Why Can’t People Get Rid of Head Lice?

Simply put, because head lice are so contagious, often people have a difficult time eliminating them when trying to use over the counter home treatments. This could be because they neglect to screen every household member for head lice. This means that it continues to get passed on from one person to another. Checking every member, even adults is crucial to making sure it’s gone for good.

Talk to your kid’s friends parents. Sometimes your child could be getting reinfected from the original source without you realizing it. If you don’t find out where the head lice came from, the chance of reinfection is a definite possibility.

Keep in mind, pets do not play a role in the transfer of head lice. This is strictly a human parasite.

Sometimes the problem is that parents neglect to properly clean the home, bedding and hair accessories that will still have traces of head lice or nits. If a child is treated with head lice, then lays in the same bed that is infected, the problem will continue to be a vicious cycle.

The products you are using simply do not work. Commonly head lice are hard to eliminate because nits are still lingering behind. Even if every adult louse is killed on the scalp if nits are left that can hatch the problem just cycles through again. Head lice treatments from the store are not effective in killing head lice and their nits.


Tips to Remember

Head lice can happen to anyone. This does not indicate that someone is dirty or unkempt. These parasites are problematic for children of all ages and social classes. It doesn’t matter where you live or how often you bathe. Short hair or long hair is not a factor unless of course, you have no hair at all! The point is, head lice are everywhere.

Here are some tips to prevent head lice and reinfestation:

  • Remind children to avoid head to head contact with classmates, friends, or anyone while they compete in sports, play at the gym or attend school. Even neighbors or cousins who could come into your home may be passing head lice onto your family.
  • Make sure kids are not sharing combs, brushes, hats, scarves, hoodies, hair bows, hair clips, towels, helmets, or any other items that could have traces of nits or head lice.
  • Teach kids not to lie on beds, pillows, bean bags, or blankets from other children who have had head lice recently.
  • Every few days double check that each member of your family or anyone who has had close contact with head lice is not showing symptoms. Treat head lice quickly and clean all bedding or accessories that could be reinfecting family members.