To prevent head lice, do not share personal items, and clean the home thoroughly if anyone in the home has been exposed to head lice. After exposure to head lice, check each family member's hair frequently. Prevention methods should be used consistently to avoid infestation.
- Avoid sharing personal items
Hair brushes, combs, hats and scarves are items that should not be shared in order to prevent head lice. Store winter wear, such as hats, inside coat sleeves when storing the items in a shared closet.
- Wash clothing and other soft items
Stuffed animals, pillows and blankets should be washed in hot water and dried on the highest heat possible to eliminate the potential for an infestation to occur after exposure. Items that cannot be washed can be vacuumed to remove lice or nits, and small items may be placed in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer for 72 hours to kill head lice and nits.
- Check hair for lice and nits often
School-aged children are particularly susceptible to developing a lice infestation and should be examined for signs of an infestation periodically. Some signs to look for include an itchy scalp, lice eggs on the hair shaft and the presence of live lice.