Why Children are Susceptible to Head Lice

Every year, schools experience lice outbreaks.  Letters are sent home warning parents about a head lice infestation and telling them to screen their children regularly.  But what makes children more susceptible to head lice than adults?

Firstly, it is important to know that adults are not immune from getting head lice.  Though cases of head lice in adults are more rare, an infestation can happen to an adult just as easily as a child.  Children are susceptible to head lice because of the manner in which they play, learn, and explore the world around them.  Having head lice is not a sign of poor hygiene or not enough baths either. 

It is impossible to determine the source of head lice.  Kids spread head lice easily among each other because they have little sense of personal space.  When one sees children working or playing together, it is not uncommon to witness kids with their heads pressed together.

Lice can’t fly or jump, and head lice isn’t caused by poor hygiene. It can only be transmitted by direct contact with the hair of an infested person, said the CDC.  Colder months to bring lice uptick

 Adults know about, and most value, personal space.  It isn’t common to see colleagues with heads pressed together in an office.  This simple difference is one reason that adults do not get head lice as often as children do.

Why do lice like kids so much? Children’s hair is finer and thinner than adult hair, allowing lice to more easily grasp it, said Dr. Paradi Mirmirani. She’s a dermatologist with Kaiser Permanente in Vallejo, Calif.  Read more…

If a child is experiencing a lice outbreak and his or her parent snuggles with him/her it is possible to transfer head lice to the parent.  It is important to treat for head lice as soon as an outbreak is detected to prevent further spreading of these pests. 

 

 

 

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