The most frequently seen vector for the transmission of head lice is head-to-head contact. It is less common for an infestation to be linked to shared items of clothing, or from carpet and furniture.
These parasites can live no more than 2 days without a host. Nits will die within a week if they are not kept in an environment; that mimics the temperature level and degree of humidity found on the human scalp.
The following steps will help to prevent head lice transmission; and to control the spread of lice once the parasites are detected:
– During play, sporting events, and other activities at a facility where children are present in groups, avoid head-to-head contact.
– Do not allow for the sharing of articles of clothing. Particularly troublesome items include hats, caps, and scarves, coats, sports uniforms, and hair ribbons and barrettes.
– Do not allow personal care items like combs and brushes to be shared. If lice are detected these items must be disinfected; in hot water of at least 128.3 F / 53.5 C for 5-10 minutes.
– Towels should not be shared, and should also be washed in 128.3 F / 53.5 C; water if lice have been detected.
– There should be no contact with any form of bedding including pillows. This precaution also extends to couches, carpets, and stuffed animals.
– Items that cannot be washed or dry cleaned should be stored in a tightly sealed plastic bag for at least 2 weeks.