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Health Tip: Thwarting Head Lice

-- Head lice are tiny, parasitic bugs that live in the hair and scalp, and are most common in school-aged children.

Lice typically are not a serious problem, but they can cause uncomfortable itching, irritated skin, and may lead to infection, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Signs that your child may have head lice include constant scratching of the head, or tiny red bumps seen on the shoulders, neck and scalp. Lice eggs, called nits, will look like little dots on the hair that may be white or clear in color.

Lice are easily spread from person to person, so do what you can to keep lice from spreading.

Don't allow someone with lice to share anything used on the hair -- no hats, hairbrushes, combs, barrettes or hair elastics. Pillows and towels also should not be shared with someone who has lice.

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Posted: May 2009