* Lice are small insects that live in people's hair and feed on their blood.

* They do not transmit disease and are not associated with poor hygiene.

* Lice glue their eggs, or nits, to the hair follicle and they are not easily combed out.

* Lice typically cannot live more than 48 hours away from a person's head.

* Nits take six to nine days to hatch. About seven days later, they can lay eggs again.

* Children are much more likely to get lice from family members or playmates than classmates at school.

* Lice are spread by the sharing of combs, hats, clothing, barrettes, helmets, headphones and other items.

* Treat the hair with permethrin or pyrethrin products like Nix immediately upon finding lice. Follow directions carefully and do not share doses.

* Treat only those infected with lice.

* Remove nits daily with a lice comb.

* Wash clothing and bedding in hot water and dry on high heat for at least 20 minutes.

* Seal items that cannot be washed, like stuffed animals and toys, in a plastic bag for two weeks.

* Boil combs, brushes, hair bands and barrettes for five minutes.

* Vacuum carpets and furniture frequently.

Source: California Department of Public Health