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Head lice can move from head to head without discrimination and are particularly prevalent in children attending day care, kindergarten and school. People get head lice from direct hair to hair contact with another person who has head lice. Head lice do not have wings and therefore cannot fly or jump.
Head lice only survive on humans and if isolated they die very quickly, usually within 24 hours. It is not necessary to treat the whole family unless they also have head lice. Only the pillowcases require specific laundering either in hot water (at least 60oC) or heated using a clothes dryer on the hot setting.
In accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009 children with head lice can be readmitted to school or children’s service centres after treatment has commenced.
A range of suitable treatments are available from chemists and supermarkets. If you have a case of head lice in your family it is recommended that you advise others that you have been in contact with (eg. Schools, kindergartens and day-care centres)
For further information relating to head lice and treatment please refer to the Department of Human Services website.