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Your Daughter Babysits for a Family who Just Got Head Lice; Should You Be Worried?

babysitter reading a cloth book to a baby

Updated on July 19, 2020

Your daughter is at risk but how much depends on the answers to the below questions.

If your daughter has been exposed to head lice, she may or may not have contracted the case. There are variables at play here including whether a louse is inclined to leave its current head and move to your daughter’s head.

Here are some questions to ask:

  1. Was your daughter in direct contact with the childrenbabysitter smiling with toddler heads close together? In other words was her head in close enough proximity to the infested child's head to allow for a bug to climb from the child's head to your daughter’s head.

  2. How long is the hair of the infested child? If the child has long flowing locks and your daughter has long hair, that is an optimal scenario for a bug to climb from the infested child to your child. Lice use the hair as a ladder to get to the scalp that houses the blood on which they feed.

  3. If your daughter has long hair, was she wearing it up in a ponytail or was it hanging down? If her hair is up in a ponytail or a bun, again that makes it harder for the lice to access the hair.

  4. How severe was the infested child’s case? Although you can get a case of head lice from someone who has a mild case, the more infested the head, the more likely that the bugs will want to leave that head and go to a new head.

  5. Was your daughter’s hair clean or dirty? Did she have mousse or gel or any other styling products in the hair? Contrary to what you may have heard, lice prefer clean hair. If your daughter’s hair was oily or had grooming products in it, that makes it more difficult for the bugs to adhere to the strands.

Knowing the answers to these questions will help to determine at how much risk your child is of having contracted the case. However, knowing the answers to these questions still will not decide definitively whether your child actually contracted the case. In order to know that for sure, you need to check your daughter in bright light and look for nits that are stuck to the hair. If you see anything suspicious pull it out and place it against a white background. It will appear brown and have an antenna.

babysitter playing with a toddler both laughingIt can be very difficult to discern head lice in someone's hair. The nits camouflage and are very small. When in doubt or for professional assistance in removing the nits and bugs, call LiceDoctors. A professional lice technician will come to your home and check your daughter and other family members and will get rid of the case. If your daughter is lice-free, the tech will let you know. No hassles…no worries. In the Mesquite area, call for help day or night, any day of the year at 214-382-9727 .