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Head lice are common in children. Learn how to check for, treat and prevent lice.

Key points

  • Head lice infestations are common in school children. They are not a sign of poor hygiene.
  • Symptoms include itchiness and red bumps on the scalp. Some children do not show symptoms for weeks.
  • The best way to detect head lice is to use a fine-toothed comb on wet hair.
  • To treat head lice, apply an approved head lice lotion or shampoo. Most available lice treatments need to be re-applied about a week later.
  • Tell your child's school immediately if you discover head lice.
  • Discourage your child from sharing hats, combs or headphones.
Last updated: September 6th 2023