With school back in session, it’s not uncommon to hear about the spread of lice in your child’s school. Le Bonheur Pediatrician Elisha McCoy, MD, shares some helpful advice for how to keep your child from getting lice – and how to treat lice if your child gets it.


How are lice spread?
Lice are spread from person-to-person contact. Encourage your child to not share hats or brushes with their friends.

How should I check for lice?
Start around the hairline and behind the ear. Nits, or lice eggs, will usually be found about a centimeter from the hairline. If your child has longer hair, dividing it into sections can make it easier to look for nits, which are oval in shape and are usually the color of your child's hair.

How should I treat lice?
There are several over-the-counter treatments for lice that you can get without a prescription. Follow the directions for how to apply. Usually, treatments call for two applications; if the lice still exists after the second treatment, consult your child’s doctor.

How should I keep it from spreading within my house?
If your child has lice, be sure to check the rest of the adults and children in the house for lice. Wash clothing, linens and towels on your washing machine’s highest setting to kill the lice and nits.