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Head Lice



Head Lice
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.14

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    airtight, antibiotic, dandruff, highly, killing, medication, naked, outbreak, vacuumed, immediately, therefore, cling, scalp, prescription, easily, lighting


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Head Lice
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     A child in Ashley's class had head lice. A letter was being sent home to all the parents so they could be on the lookout. Meanwhile, in school, the school nurse was examining the heads of all the children in this particular class.
 
2     Head lice are tiny insects without wings. They are parasites that live among a person's hairs and feed on tiny amounts of blood from that same person's scalp. They can't fly. They can't jump. Their claws, though, let them crawl and cling on hair. Lice are not dangerous, but they are contagious. They can't spread any diseases. They are quite common in children. Girls are bothered by them more than boys. Because they spread person-to-person, they are highly contagious where a lot of children come in contact - schools, day cares, slumber parties, sports, camps, and playgrounds.
 
3     Lice are very small, but they can be seen by the naked eye. They bite, causing an itchy, inflamed scalp. The eggs are yellow or brown and are called nits. When they hatch, the shells are white or clear. They look like dandruff. How can you tell the difference? Dandruff will shake off or brush away, but nits won't go away that easily. The eggs hatch a week or so after being laid. The nymphs are tiny. They become adult lice one week after hatching. Adult lice are brown and as small as sesame seeds.

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