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What are head lice?

Lice are tiny insects (they are so small, that you can barely see them with your eyes) about 2 - 4 millimeters long. They like to stay in your hair and live by sucking a little bit of blood from your body everyday. They grow and multiply so fast that if you have one louse, within a couple of weeks you'll have tens of lice crawling within your head.

But why do I scratch my head?

Lice live by sucking blood from our body. They attach their tiny claws in the skin to suck the blood. The skin becomes irritated and feels itchy. Be careful, for if you scratch your head too much, you may cause more infection on your head.

But how did I get the head lice?

Lice are insects that need the blood of a person to survive. They can be found on anyone's head. They tend to spread more in kids as kids play together more closely and stay together. Lice move from one person's head to another if it comes in contact with another person's head. They can also spread by sharing clothes, towels, blankets, pillows, bedsheets, combs, brushes etc. These lice then lay eggs called nits within your hair. Each nit looks like a small white particle. These nits attach to your hair close to the scalp and once hatched develop into tiny lice. So you can see haw fast they can multiply.

So, what should I do if I get lice?

If you are scratching your head a lot, tell your parents to look for lice or nits in the hair. With a fine toothcomb, nits and lice can be removed but it requires lot of patience and time. Your doctor may prescribe a special medicine in form of lotion, oil or shampoo to be applied on your head. This medicine will kill the lice. The treatment may have to be repeated after 7 to 10 days to kill remaining nits before they hatch. Sometimes you may have to take antibiotics to treat the infection that occurs due to excessive scratching. You may also need to wash all your beddings, hats, brushes and stuffed toys in hot water to kill any lice living there.

How can I prevent getting it again?

As you also know by now that prevention is better than cure, the best way to treat head lice would be to prevent it. Try and avoid sharing combs, brushes, hair clips, ribbons and other hair accessories. Remember, no matter how much you try, head lice may still come and stay in your head, but at least being careful would help.

"Head without lice is very nice
But not to scratch really has no match."

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