How to tell if your child has a head lice?

21 August 2019, 15:14

Frequent scratching of head by children should rise parent’s alertness. An itching sensation of the skin scalp can be the first symptom of pediculosis and it is often caused by allergic reaction to parasite’s saliva and excrements. Lice bites cause burning sensations and itching of skin scalp resulting in need of continuous scratching and lowers the concentration. Also, these micro wounds may possibly be the source of bacterial infection. Therefore, when you notice that your child scratches its head too often, immediately check if there are unwelcome guests on its head.

Use a comb with fine and metal teeth. With good lighting, comb hair strand by strand from roots to the ends. You can help yourself with diagnostics by using a white tissue on which you can easily see moving lice, their nymphs and nits. Wipe the comb with it after each combed hair strand. Pay special attention to the places behind the ears, on the top of the head and around the neck along the hairline.

Human lice are wingless parasitic insects measuring about 4 millimeters in length. Their body is oval, elongated, dorsoventral flattened. Lice don’t have wings so typical for other insects. They move using 3 pairs of arthropod legs adapted to grasp the hair firmly. On thorax and abdomen the spiracles leading to the breath apparatus are present. The lice mouthpipe is of the stinging-sucking type. Human head lice feed only on human blood.

Female lice live about 40 days and lays over 300 eggs (nits) during this time. The nits are attached to hair with cement-like substance. Nits are pearly-white in color. They are very resistant and could survive without a host, away from the skin scalp even up to two weeks.

Pediculosis is very common infestation among children in school and kindergarten age. When noticed the presence of lice on your child’s head don’t panic. Nowadays, the lice elimination is easier than you think.