What Are Head Lice?
Lice are tiny insects that can be found on various parts of the body, including the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes. These insects live on humans and feed on their blood. Lice that live close to the scalp are known as head lice.
Head lice are found most often on the back of the neck and behind the ears. Although lice can’t jump or fly, they can spread very easily from person to person through head-to-head contact or through shared clothing or personal items (such as a hat, towel, or hairbrush). Contrary to popular myth, personal hygiene has nothing to do with getting head lice.
To understand how to identify lice, it helps to know the three different forms of head lice:
Head lice can usually be detected by looking closely for live lice or eggs in the hair. Use of a magnifying glass can assist in the search.
Learn more about how to check for lice.
If you’re not sure whether your child has head lice, ask a school nurse or other health care provider to conduct a thorough search.