According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between six and 12 million kids between the ages of three and 11 get lice every year. Yikes!
If you’ve got a daughter, she’s at an increased risk of getting lice. Experts say that girls may get lice more often than boys because they naturally come into physical contact with one another and may share hair accessories and products. Further, African-Americans are said to develop lice less often than other races.
When it comes to these creepy-crawly – and contagious -- critters, kids usually get lice at school or during group activities like sporting events or overnight stays with friends. However, lice can also be spread through shared clothing items, brushes or even by lying on a bed that has been occupied by a person with lice. This means that grownups could get it, too.
And spotting lice can be tricky. According to Kidshealth.org, lice are tiny, making it tough to see them. Lice eggs (also known as nits) look like dots. They can vary in color from yellow to tan to brown. Eggs will be seen near the scalp because this offers the best temperature for development. Kidshealth.org says that it’s easier to see eggs than actual live lice.
Like any critter, lice have a lifespan. Once eggs are laid, they hatch in a week or two. You may still see shells, which is said to be white or clear in color. But remember that shells will not be seen near the scalp once the hair grows out.