School nurse teaching about head lice on chalkboard of classroom.

Those Unwelcome Guests.

With school and daycare starting again for the year your child may come home with some unwelcome guests! Head Lice, sometimes called nits, kutis, kutu bug, utu or riha are small, flat insects (about 2 to 3 millimetres long) that live and lay eggs on the human scalp – the scalp provides food and warmth for the eggs to hatch. They are a common problem all over the world and are spread by head lice crawling from the hair of one person to another. Anyone can catch head lice – catching them has nothing to do with poor hygiene.

If you find live head lice or eggs on your child’s scalp, treat your child and check everyone in the house. Treatment of head lice is usually by chemical / herbal treatments, and physical methods (wet combing). Wet combing with conditioner and a fine tooth nit comb alone can be effective if done properly. If you choose to use a chemical or herbal treatment, speak to your pharmacist, doctor or nurse for advice about what treatment to use and how to use it. Never use flyspray, kerosene or treatments intended for animals – these may harm children and adults.