Head lice

Head lice infections (pediculosis), also called nits, are common and create some concerns for many people.

Head lice have been around for many thousands of years. Anyone can get head lice.

Information given to people regarding head lice is often conflicting and in some cases incorrect.

Head lice are transmitted by having head to head contact with someone who has head lice: this happens frequently in families, schools and childcare centres.

Head lice is not a notifiable condition under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act and does not transmit any infectious diseases.

Identifying and treating head lice is important as children cannot attend school or child care until the lice has been treated. 

More information and answers to frequently asked questions about head lice can be obtained from the Department of Health. 

This information is also available in a number of different languages. Department of Health also provides resources for schools who wish to run programs for parents.

The Better Health Channel also has helpful, accurate and up to date information.

Page last updated: Friday, 31 July 2020