Head lice

Updated 22 April 2016

Causes of head lice

There are a number of reasons why people, especially children, are affected by head lice. The most common cause is having head-to-head contact with someone who has lice.

Head-to-head contact is the most common cause of a head lice infestation. Children are more inclined to get lice because they are frequently in close contact with each other whilst playing.

They are sometimes transmitted by sharing items such as combs, hair accessories and hats.

Lice can also live off the body for up to two days, especially on linen, bedding, stuffed animals, towels and upholstered furniture

Contrary to popular belief, contracting lice is not related to poor hygiene - in fact, head lice are thought to prefer clean hair to dirty hair! However, good hygiene can combat body lice - a different variety, and seldom a problem in children.

If your child has lice, you have to notify the school.

Read more:

Symptoms of head lice

Treating head lice

Preventing head lice