Anytime kids’ noggins are in direct contact — when they’re sitting or sleeping next to each other — or when parents and children spend time cuddling, lice have a chance to crawl from one head to another.
Head lice can move only by crawling on hair. They glue their eggs to individual strands, nice and close to the scalp, where the heat helps them hatch. They feed on blood several times a day. And even though head lice can spread by laying their eggs in sports helmets and baseball caps, the main way they get around is by simply crawling from one head to another using scythe-shaped claws.
These claws, which are big relative to a louse body, work in unison with a small and spiky thumblike part called a spine. With the claw and spine at the end of each of its six legs, a louse grasps a hair strand to hold on tightly, or quickly crawl from hair to hair like a speedy acrobat.
Their drive to stay on a human head is strong because after they’re off and lose access to their blood meals, they starve and die within 15 to 24 hours
The 4 Head Lice Facts That Every Parent Needs to Know
1.Lice do not spread easily.
They also cannot survive more than 24 hours off a human scalp.
2.Lice cannot jump.
They can only crawl, and as a result, most transmission is only by direct contact.
The spreading of lice can happen through the sharing of brushes and hats, but the easiest way lice spread is by head-to-head contact.
3.Children do not need to be sent home from school for head lice infestations.
The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommend letting the parent of the child know about the lice diagnosis, but refraining from sending the child home that day or restricting him or her from attending school. A child with head lice has likely had the infestation for at least a month, and studies have shown that lice are not likely to spread within classrooms.
4.Lice affect people in all socioeconomic classes.
Lice often carry a social stigma, and in reality, it’s not a reflection on cleanliness. Anyone can get lice! If children are excluded from school and activities, this perpetuates the belief that lice are harmful.
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Cleveland Clinic :Contributor Sara Lappe, MD https://health.clevelandclinic.org/4-head-lice-facts-every-parent-needs-know/