As our kids return to school, they can pick up lots of great assets like reading skills, manners, social skills. One nasty problem we hope our kids do not pick up at school – lice. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, tells us everything we need to know about lice.

How is lice spread?

Nurse Rose: Lice are usually spread by direct head-to-head contact from playing together, sports, hugging or other close contact. Although less common, lice can spread by contact with items that have touched the hair of someone with lice, like a scarf, comb, hat or brush.

Is there any way to help our kids avoid lice?

Nurse Rose: Sometimes, you just can’t avoid it, but you can reduce your child’s risk of getting lice with these tips.

  • Provide your child with their own comb/brush, hat or hair clips. Tell your child to avoid using items that touch other people’s hair.
  • Minimize head-to-head contact. Ask your child to avoid games or activities where they touch classmates’ heads to their own.
  • Separate personal belongings. Ask your children to keep their personal belongings out of shared closets, lockers or drawers.

How will I know if my child has lice?

Nurse Rose: Symptoms of lice include:

  • Itchiness
  • Tickling feeling on head, hair or body
  • Sores from scratching
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Red bumps on head, neck, shoulders or pubic area
  • Appearance of lice, eggs or small white objects in your hair

If you think you or your child has lice, or are uncertain, see your doctor.

Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Need help finding a doctor? Adventist Medical Group offers Primary and Specialty Care at over 10 locations.