Chapter 5: How to Check For Lice

Chapter 5: How to Check For Lice

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How to Check for Head Lice

Chapter 5

First thing’s first. Have your child seated to make moving around as you search for these little pests much easier. It is recommended to perform a head check in bright, natural light or under an equally bright reading lamp. Part the hair into small, 1-inch sections and examine the hair and scalp carefully.

Lice can be hard to spot because they move quite fast, and shy away from light. They are also very small, about the size of a sesame seed. Lice range in color from clear to reddish brown. Nits (or, head lice eggs) are about the size of a poppy seed and can range in color from white to yellowish brown specs. Nits are found firmly attached to the hair shaft, approximately ¼” from the base of the scalp. Remember, if it is a nit, it will be hard to remove. If it is easily brushed or blown away, it is likely dandruff. You might find it helpful to examine the hair from different angles.

If your child has a lice infestation, contact the school about their head lice policy. Some (but, not all) schools have what is called a “no nit” policy. Meaning, children are not allowed back to school until they are completely free of all lice and nits.