Although head lice can infest anyone, children are the most susceptible since they play together closely and share items that come into contact with the head like hats, headphones and combs. Head lice are not known to transmit infectious diseases and are considered more of a nuisance than a health risk. In many school districts, children with head lice are generally not allowed to attend school as long as nits are found in their hair.
An adult head louse is about the size of a sesame seed and ranges in color from tan to gray. While lice can crawl relatively quickly, they cannot hop, fly, or jump. This is why direct contact with an infested object or person is required to become infested. Because head lice live and breed completely in human hair, they only survive for about 1 to 2 days if they drop off a person. They cannot live on family pets.
Adult head lice and nits can be removed by combing with specially designed combs, head louse shampoos, cleaning areas around the house, and periodic head checks to detect reinfestation.