Head Lice: MythsHead lice – lovely, eh?

I know its a Wednesday morning, and who wants to hear about head lice,and more importantly – again…as we wrote about how to keep nits and head lice away last week. As I said then though, they are a fact of life for the parents of young ones, so how about some myths about them to make sure you know your head lice instead of cowering in the corner at the mention of them ;-)…

They can swim – Michael Phelps eat your heart out

No they can’t – they can survive in water though, so don’t lie back and relax in the bath with your head on the back of the bath after you did your de-nitting and head lice duties…not a good plan.

They can jump – Greg Rutherford too!

Wrong again – they crawl from one head to the other..they aren’t fleas and won’t be setting any world records for this or winning Greg-like gold medals either. Head lice transfer between heads with direct contact, even for just a momen. They might not fancy moving though, but then again they might! Apparently, as we said last week, using Tea Tree Oil in your shampoo can put them off a wee bit ;-).

Nits can move

The nits are the eggs, and the actual animals are the head lice or head louse.

Nits won’t go anywhere once they are laid on the hair root of course, but what’s the lifecycle of a louse? Eggs are hatched about 7 to ten days after laid. If you have a nymph (young adult) on your head, it’ll be mature after 14 days, and then can lay eggs again…and so on. Lice die after 30 days.

They make you itch

This is true for some people, and not for everyone. It all depends on whether you are allergic to the lice. Believe it or not, it’s this allergy and not their biting that causes the itch. Only about 1 in 3 people are allergic to the lice.

They only like dirty hair

Head lice just like hair – doesn’t matter what condition its in; in fact, they actually prefer clean hair as its easier to move through it. They are also meant to be averse to some smells, such as Tree Tree Oil, but they won’t visit you just because you have hair that makes you look like Worzel Gummage. Alternatively, having clean hair won’t make them stay away either.

They like girls more

Head lice are happy on any hot head – that’s what they want – somewhere to lay their eggs. However, they can be more common in girls than boys because they get more opprtunity to move from one head to another as girls hair is often a bit longer. Perhaps wee girlie’s are more prone to hugging their friends randomly as well. Boys are too busy maiming them with make-shift swords *stereotyping*

You can see them with the naked eye on your child’s head

You can do yes; but not easily, and not unless they are fully grown. If there are a lot of head lice, then that clearly helps too. However, you haven’t got a hope if there are just a few of them. Nits are a lot harder to spot, and really only if they are on a white background. Nits are laid right next to the root so that they get the heat that they need to survive, making it almost impossible to see them. Get that Nitty Gritty out thought, and you’ll be able to find a few.

Do you have any others that you have heard and can debunk? Let us know below. There is more information on head lice here too, in case you are interested *why*.

Photo Credit: Eran Finkle via Compfight cc