"Do I have head lice?" is the question of the year for many parents. The easiest way to answer this question is to be familiar with these five symptoms of head lice.

1. Itchy Head

Most people think that itchiness is a prime symptom of lice, but this isn't always true. These nasty little parasites feed by injecting a little saliva into the scalp. This eventually causes a reaction that leads to itching, but it can take several weeks for this to happen. So it's possible to have these things living in the hair for a while, and not be aware of it.

When an allergic reaction does happen, look for itchy red bumps on the scalp behind the ears, and on the back neckline under the hair.

A creepy crawly feeling on the scalp is very common, though. This is caused by the lice moving through the hair shafts, and it can be annoying and unsettling.

2. Presence Of Live Head Lice

The adult parasites are small, about the size of a strawberry seed, although they can be as big as an eighth of an inch. They're usually grayish white or tan. Nymphs, or newly-hatched lice, are smaller. They take a week to two weeks to mature into adults.

3. Nits On The Hair Shaft

Nits are lice eggs. They're tiny dots that can be yellow, tan, or brown. These eggs look like little pussy willow buds. They can be found within a quarter inch of the scalp, where it's nice and warm for them.

It can be very easy to confuse dandruff flakes with nits, since they do look similar. The difference is that dandruff flakes can be moved along the hair shaft. Nits are very firmly attached, and they can't be removed easily.

4. Sores On The Head

Once the bites start itching, it can become intense. A child may scratch so much that the scalp becomes irritated and inflamed. Open sores can be the result.

5. General Irritability

It's easy to understand why someone with bugs on his or her head would feel irritable. The feeling that something is crawling around on the head, combined with the constant itchiness and a possible allergic reaction, is a sure recipe for misery. Any child who seems out-of-sorts for no particular reason should be checked for these nasty little bugs.

These parasites do spread very easily, especially among kids. Since there are between six and twelve million cases a year in the US alone, it's important to be alert and know the symptoms of head lice so you can treat them quickly if they should make an appearance in your home.

Author's Bio: 

Darlene Norris is a mom and grandma who has been using natural cures and remedies for many years to keep her family healthy. Can herbal treatments help YOUR family too? The short answer is yes! Learn more at Natural Health And Wellness Tips.

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