Can my baby get head lice?
There are many myths out there about who can get lice, how it’s spread, and of course, treatment options. Lice only need an eighth of an inch of hair to lay their eggs. So, yes, babies can definitely have lice, as can anyone else who has at least an eighth of an inch of hair on their head.
A lice infestation starts through head-to-head contact, and then continues to spread this way. Children often get it because they spend so much time around other children in settings where lice can be easily transferred, such as daycare, school, camps, play dates, etc. If someone has lice in the home, it can easily be transferred to an infant.
What to look for
If you’re worried your baby has lice, here are few things you can do:
- Look through your baby’s hair and try and spot a bug or egg. If you think you’ve found an egg, try pulling it off with your finger, or flicking it. If it easily comes off, it may not be an egg, as the eggs are glued to the hair shaft and are more difficult to remove.
- The baby may feel irritation from the bugs, and their head may become quite itchy, particularly in areas behind the ears, at the base of the neck and the crown of the head.
- Be sure to check all members of your household for head lice or signs of nits. Anyone could be a carrier.
- Call Lice Clinics of Canada and book your screening so we can confirm if someone in your home has lice. It’s important to start treatment right away if a positive case is found. We offer same-day treatment options and can have you lice-free in less than 90 minutes.
Once a lice case is confirmed, we can go over home cleaning instructions with you. Don’t worry—it’s not as difficult as you’re imagining it to be!
Checking your baby’s hair
Step 1- Lay your baby down in a comfortable position on top of a towel or sit them on someone’s lap to check the hair.
Step 2 – Wet down your baby’s hair with warm water. Make sure it is combed with no knots or tangles.
Step 3- Apply a small amount of hair conditioner to your baby’s hair to help make it easily manageable.
Step 4 – Using a metal, fine-toothed comb (available at our clinics), comb through the baby’s hair in sections looking for head lice and nits. With each section you comb through, dip the comb into the bowl of water to wash away any head lice or nits you picked up.
Step 6 – Rinse their hair clean and dry.
Step 7 – Call Lice Clinics of Canada and set up an appointment for treatment.