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Why Do Head Lice Spread So Quickly Within Families?

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Updated on July 19, 2020

Families in close contact with each other are the most likely to pass along lice.

Over three quarters of the families LiceDoctors has treated have multiple cases of head lice. In a family where a child has head lice, especially when the child is young, the mom is highly likely to also have lice. Siblings are also likely to have contracted a case, but to a slightly lesser degree than and baby on snowy day

Why is that? Head lice are extremely contagious. If they have access to another head, especially if the one they are on is crowded with other lice and eggs, they will take advantage of that opportunity. What they are looking for is ample opportunity to feed on the blood of the head about three times daily. They want to go to a fresh head where there's less competition. When children are little and moms are carrying them around and are in very close contact, the chances increase significantly that the child will pass along a case of head lice. The same applies for young siblings who are often on top of each other. Although no one wants to get head lice, it is actually a sign of family togetherness!

Contrary to popular belief, lice are generally not transmitted through objects such as combs, toys, clothing, or furniture. Lice want the temperature of the human head and access to blood. They will stay put on their current head (food source) unless they have direct contact with a new head. Teenaged children, who may be more aloof than when they were younger and therefore not as likely to hug their parents, are less likely to pass along a case to mom.

Lice are very common today. Most people have either had it in their family or know of a family who has dealt with it. If you discover lice in your family, please let us know and we will have a technician at your home at a time that is convenient for you. We have treated hundreds of thousands of families and we can help you as well. Remember: LiceDoctors pricing is among the lowest in the area. For more information on the spread of head lice be sure to check out our Education Center and call us day or night, any day of the week and weekends at 206-316-8637 .

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