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How Do Head Lice Spread?

Head lice are tiny insects that survive in human hair. Although they are harmless in terms of spreading diseases or health risks, they can certainly be quite a pain. They are a common problem, which can be hard to get rid of.

Contrary to popular belief, a head lice infection is not a sign of poor hygiene, but is caused due to direct transmission from one host to another.

How Do Head Lice Spread?

To answer how is head lice spread, lice don’t have wings, so they only crawl. However, they can be surprisingly fast.

Here’s an overview of how is head lice spread — and what you can do to stop them.

Head lice spread by direct contact with an affected person’s hair. Kids will hug each other and literally put their heads together. Parents often wonder how does lice spread and affect their kids even though their homes are totally clean and free of lice. You can’t completely prevent this, as many parents are unaware of the early signs.  But be cautious of any child who’s scratching their head constantly or who complains of an itchy head, and follow up with the school nurse or the child’s parents. So the question should rather be, how does lice spread in school?

Most Common Reasons that Cause the Spread of Head Lice in Kids

Here are the five most common reasons, if you’re looking to know how does lice spread:

  1. Direct head-to-head contact
    Direct head-to-head contact is one of the biggest causes for the spread of head lice. Although lice look like they can fly, they are small wingless insects and cannot fly from one person to another. When people have direct head-to-head contact for various reasons like hugging someone while greeting, kids bumping into each other while playing or simply sleeping next to one another, can cause spread of head lice.
  2. Sharing grooming items
    Another common way for the spread of head lice is sharing personal grooming items with a person infected with head lice. These could include things like combs,hair brushes, hats, scarves,(and even helmets/ hair-gel), etc. Head lice do find it difficult to survive away from the human body for more than two days, and regularly cleaning such equipment will be necessary. If you suspect that any member of your household has a lice infection, wash their clothes and bed linen in hot water as well as sterilize their combs and brushes, to make sure they are free of lice before use.
  3. Children playing with stuffed animals/ toys
    Toys and stuffed animals are the closest playthings for children while growing up. Children hold them close, roam around with them as well as cannot sleep without them close-by. If a child has a lice infection, it is possible that children can transfer lice from themselves to the toys, which will in turn spread to other children who share the toys with them. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to wash the soft-toys regularly in hot water, so that it curbs the spread of lice.
  4. Selfies!
    Selfies are the most common way that youngsters click pictures nowadays. Although an easy and popular way to click pictures, due to the lack of distance between the people clicking these selfies, it is possibly one of the main causes of lice infection spreading between young ones at school.
  5. Summer Camps
    Summer Camps are places where groups of children live together and share everything with each other as well. It is also the one place where all of the above factors come together in one single location. Children should be educated about the possible causes of head lice infections and ways to prevent this, before going for summer camps.


In case your child still ends up with lice, there is no need to panic. You can treat lice by using Mediker Anti-Lice Shampoo for kids, which is an excellent solution for lice infection.


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