Head lice are unwelcome visitors in any home, but did you know that 76 per cent of parents have experienced head lice in their household¹? In fact, head lice is the most common parasitic infection in children². One of the best ways to minimise the risk of head lice, and manage outbreaks, is to understand what to look out for.
Head lice can’t jump and can’t fly, so how do they travel from one human scalp to the next? Well, there are three main culprits: hat sharing, head to head contact, and common hair items.
Hat sharing is common in schools and childcare centres, where children might swap hats or put the wrong one on by mistake. This increases the risk of spreading lice, especially if the hat has been worn by someone with an active head lice infestation³.
Head to head contact is also common among young ones, particularly if they’re gathering close to read, watch a screen or take a photo. This provides an ideal opportunity for lice to spread.
As with hats, sharing hairbrushes or combs, hair accessories, pillows and other common hair items can also lead to the transfer of head lice⁴. Something to think about for the next sleepover!
Unfortunately, knowing how to avoid head lice doesn’t guarantee you will, so it’s important to know what to look out for. Head lice are small, wingless insects with six legs and can be found on the hair, rather than the scalp. They only move to the scalp to feed⁵. Louse eggs, commonly known as nits, are laid within 1.5cm of the scalp and most often found behind the ears or at the back of the neck. Because they sit close to the scalp, nits can be easily mistaken for dandruff. However, unlike dandruff, lice and nits cling to the hair shaft and are very difficult to dislodge⁶.
Contrary to popular opinion, head lice don’t always cause itching, so regular head checks are recommended. One of the easiest techniques for detecting head lice is the wet combing technique, and the MOOV Head Lice Combing Conditioner and provided MOOV Head Lice Removal Comb are two excellent products. First, apply the conditioner then, using the comb, separate sections of hair and wipe conditioner from the comb onto a tissue to spot lice or eggs.
The MOOV Combing Conditioner will help to stun the lice, making them slow-moving and easier to spot. If you suspect or find head lice, head into your nearest pharmacy and look for MOOV Head Lice, the No.1 Head Lice Brand in pharmacy⁷.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly talk to your health professional.