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What Everybody Needs to Know About Head Lice

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools regularly screen for head lice and provide parents of infected children with treatment information. The CDC recommends that children remain out of school until no live lice can be found. A child with nits is not required to stay home.

Since it takes about a week for nits to hatch, it is recommended the child be re-examined a week after treatment for any live lice that may have hatched.

Usually, a single shampoo treatment is all that is needed to kill any live lice. The CDC recommends the combination of medicated shampoo and nit combing to reduce the duration of the infestation and to help ensure no nits will hatch and mature into live lice. Both lice shampoo and nit combs can be found at most pharmacies.

Additionally, wash all sheets, clothing, stuffed animals, and any other item that may house live lice. Throw away any pillow that might be infested, and do not share towels, hats, or any other article of clothing with an infested person.

Visit the CDC's "A Parent's Guide to Head Lice" for complete instructions on the diagnosis and treatment of head lice, and see the head lice infestations and treatments page for a full list of medications.



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