Fraser Health Authority Alerts


HEAD LICE

Head lice can be an ongoing problem but are not a major public health concern as they do not spread disease. 

The primary responsibility for control of head lice rests with the family. Public health nurses can also answer questions about the management of head lice.

The Facts of Lice

Head lice are parasites that only infect human scalps. They are spread by head to head contact but do not cause disease. 

  • Lice love clean human hair
  • Lice do not jump or fly, and their bites make the scalp itchy
  • Nits are lice eggs, which are attached to the hair, close to the scalp. They are as tiny as dandruff or about 1/3 the size of a sesame seed
  • You can't get rid of nits by brushing, or with a hair dryer
  • After the head lice hatch, the shell of the nit stays stuck to the hair. If it is more than 12 mm (1/2 inch) away from the scalp, it is probably empty
  • Lice are spread by head-to-head contact and by sharing brushes, hats, or other items that come in contact with the head
  • Head lice are common where children play or work closely together
  • Lice do not cause disease... they just bug us!
  • Adult head lice lay about 10 eggs (called nits) every day. These nits are stuck to the hair near the scalp.
  • It takes 7-10 days for the nits to hatch. It takes 6-10 days for lice to become adult. During that time, it stays on the head, but does not lay.

Checking for Head Lice

To check for head lice, you will need: 

  • A bright light
  • A metal lice comb (optional)
  • A regular comb
  • Hair clips for longer hair
  • Paper towels

Steps

  • Explain to your child/family member what you are going to do. Have them sit in a comfortable spot under bright light.
  • Untangle long hair using a regular comb. Divide the hair into four sections and check one section at a time.
  • You are looking for live lice and nits. Nits are the lice eggs that cement to the hair near the scalp. Nits are white, grey or yellowish and can be confused with fluff, dandruff or dirt however a nit will not move until you dislodge it.
  • If using a lice comb, comb it through the hair close to the scalp and then wipe on a paper towel. Look at the paper towel for lice or nits.
  • You must look through the entire head. Use hair clips to hold longer hair in place.
  • If you find lice or nits follow the instructions in the Head Lice Treatment Options section of this resource.
  • Check the heads of all family members for lice and nits as they are easily spread. Treat all infested family members at the same time otherwise you may not rid your house of the lice and the infestation will continue despite the treatments given. 

Approved Treatment )ptions

There are only two acceptable treatment options:

  • Option A: Head lice shampoo - special head lice shampoos or rinses are used because they have been tested and determined to be a safe and effective treatment.
  • Option B: Wet-combing - a non-chemical way to find and eliminate head lice.

Click HERE for instructions...


2014

Message from Fraser Health - Measles and Vaccination Update

"As part of the efforts of Fraser Health to contain the measles outbreak in Fraser East, FHA is expanding vaccination services. In particular, Fraser Health is partnering with GPs to offer GP vaccination clinics for the above 5 population. Thus far the outbreak has not spread considerably into the general population, and we believe this is due to protection from vaccine. We would like to get as many children in the population protected with vaccination as possible". 

Click here for a list of immunization sites & dates


 

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