Chapter 4: Symptoms of Head Lice

Chapter 4: Symptoms of Head Lice

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Head Lice Symptoms

Chapter 4

How do I know if my child has lice? What are the most common symptoms of head lice infestation? While there aren’t any flashing red lights or alarm bells, the most common sign is excessive itching. While itching can occur anywhere on the scalp, it is typically experienced behind the ears and at the nape of the neck where lice prefer to lay their eggs (it’s nice and warm for their eggs back there!).

Itching can be caused by one or both of the following:

  • Lice (live bugs) crawling through the hair and along the scalp can trigger the sensation
  • Or, it can be the result of irritation from the bugs’ saliva when they bite to feed.

Other symptoms of lice infestation may include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Or, in severe cases, secondary infection and swollen lymph glands

If your child is itching their scalp, irritable, or having trouble sleeping, it’s possible they may need lice treatment. it is a good idea to do a quick head check to be sure.  Visit How to Check for Head Lice to learn how to find them.

If you know of a head lice outbreak at your child’s school or daycare, be sure to perform regular head checks. Remember, it is possible to have a lice infestation without any symptoms present.