The School Nurse Lice Battle Plan

Part 7: Three Ways Lice Spread

First of all, numbers. Who would you be happy to share a hat from: The fella with 1000 head lice crawling around his head or the lady with 100 head lice crawling around her head? It’s a tough choice. Many of us would, if we were forced to, would select the hat from the lady with fewer lice. Our logic would reign as we rationalized that we are less likely to catch lice from someone with fewer bugs crawling around on their head.


Children hug. This is the most hugging-est population of little people I have ever seen. They will have seen each other and done a bunch of hugging at the morning recess. When the lunch recess rolls around, they hug like they haven’t seen each other in a month. And that is A-OK. It is wonderful how they make friends and adore one another. When I was a kid, I didn’t hug anybody...especially another dude. No way! No how! Hugging is great! Here comes the “but” or rather the “bug.” But, head-to-head transmission is “the most common way to get head lice.” I don’t know of too many little ones that pay any attention to head / hair proximity during their little, brief embraces. But hair is sure to mingle.

Head Lice

Sharing Clothing and Headwear:

Clothing can have bugs that just happened to have wandered out too far or were “scratched” off the head. Trying on your buddy’s new Zelda cap or pulling back your hair with your girlfriend’s hair-bow may not be the best thing. There’s a chance that a “cootie” may have hitched a ride off one head and will find a new home on the next head. Given a single female louse a few days, there will be an infestation of baby bugs and a whole population of nit-laying cooties in about a month. We’ll discuss this later.

Other Stuff:

Yes, it’s possible to get lice from a sofa or a theater headrest. Bedding and stuffed animals may have a bug or two. But less than likely. It would have to be a situation where bad luck plays a role and a live bug was able to find its way onto your head and get a snack. You see, these bugs only live on human animal can support this insect...and given a couple or three days, they will fall into the same trouble you or I would be in after two or three days without water...they will die.

Consider: I will observe some of our pretty little students with long hair while sitting “crisscross applesauce,” the tips of their long hair rides the floor (the carpet). Catching lice aside; this is gross. Have the parents consider the “ick factor” of what is on floors in the first place. Consider the “what if” scenario. You get where I am going. Aside from lice on the floor finding a life-line to a juicy little scalp, consider all the other things that are on the floor. Read this article for more information: 21 Reasons NOT to Wear Shoes in the House!



RID contains pyrethrum and NIX contains permethrin. But what does that mean? Is one better than the other at killing lice and what about all those eggs?


You’ve found lice on a head in your home. WHAT THE HECK!? Okay, don’t sweat. You’ve got this. Read this LICE BATTLE PLAN and get them bugs gone!!


Learn more about lice. You have an 2-3% chance of lice coming into your home this year. The more you know about these pests the better prepared you’ll be.

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