Does Your Child Have a Symptom Of Head Lice?

head lice symptoms

Lice, the four-letter word that makes your skin crawl and itch (literally). If your school nurse or daycare center has notified you that your child may have lice, you’ll want to check your child and anyone else in your family, including yourself. Don’t put it off. Give them a head check immediately and get it treated as soon as possible. Here are some signs that your child might have a head lice infestation.

Constant Itching

The most common symptom of head lice is itching. This is caused by an allergic reaction to lice bites. It usually takes a few weeks for this symptom to develop, so if your child is itching because of lice, they have probably had lice for a while.

Tickling/Moving Sensation

Since there are bugs moving around in the hair, it is a common symptom to feel a moving sensation in the hair or feel a tickling sensation. Your child might just feel like something is “off.” If they keep mentioning that their hair is moving, this may be a symptom of head lice.

Sores or Scratch Marks

If you see sores on the head or neck, that might be a sign that a lice infestation has begun. This is caused by intense scratching. Sores are a common symptom of head lice.

Having A Hard Time Sleeping

The irritating bugs often make it hard for children to get a good night’s rest.

More Irritable Than Usual

If your child seems grumpy and irritated and that is unusually for them, this may be a result of head lice. Irritability often coincides with chronic itchiness and sleeplessness.

It is possible for a child to have all of the above symptoms. If so, it’s time for a head check. Do it yourself or bring them into our clinic for a professional head check and treatment. Just because your child has an itchy head doesn’t necessarily mean they have lice. Their head can be itchy for other reasons. However, itchiness does come as a result of lice so don’t rule lice out right away. Itchiness can be caused by dandruff, allergies or a reaction to a shampoo or hairspray.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Misdiagnosis of head lice infestation is common.” The most reliable symptom, of course, is the presence of a live louse or lice on a child’s head.

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1 comment
Charlotte Fleet says January 3, 2023

Thanks for explaining how an allergic reaction to lice bites causes one’s scalp to be itchy. My older sister told me today that her 8-year-old daughter’s scalp has started to itch constantly. I’ll make sure she takes my niece to a reliable head lice clinic tonight to be treated.

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