Head lice symptoms

It is easy for parents to not realise that their children have head lice, and by the time they do actually notice, the lice and well and truly infested on a child’s head.

Head lice amongst schoolchildren and pre-school children are extremely common, and unfortunately recurring attacks are likely to occur if not all the children in a group where the breakout has occurred have their hair treated for head lice.

 Head lice symptoms

If left untreated what usually starts as just one or two lice, quickly multiple into many lice. Therefore treating your child’s head for lice early on is essential to limit the chances of the lice multiplying and spreading.

To kill the lice early on, it is essential that you know what head lice symptoms to look for that could mean that your child has head lice. Below is a list of signs to look out for that could mean the dreaded head lice have found their way to your family.


Head lice feed from sucking blood from the scalp, which results in an itching of the skin. Noticing that your child is scratching his head frequently is one of the most common tell-tale signs of head lice.

Itching behind the ears and on the back of the neck

Of course a child scratching his scalp may be caused by other conditions such as eczema or dandruff.

Another ‘clue’ that your child may have head lice is where he is scratching, particularly if it is behind the ears and at the back of the neck, the places where head lice commonly breed.

Visibly noticing the lice

Because head lice are so small and well camouflaged by the hair, parents often find it difficult to visibly detect the actual lice. It is often easier to notice the eggs – which are usually white – in a child’s hair. You may notice the nits themselves, particularly if your child has fair hair. Of course if your little one is scratching his scalp frequently and thorough examination of his hair and scalp will be required.