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Strine: Australian
Slang, what you need
to know but are
afraid to ask...

22 pages full of must
know Australian
slang from 'aggro' to
'zack' and heaps in between.

Pediculus Capitis

Head Lice in Australia

Head lice (Pediculus Capitis) are a common problem that most parents, students and teachers in Australia are familiar with. They are tiny parasites, about the size of a sesame seed, and live on the human scalp and hair. They feed on human blood up to 4 times a day. Up to 22 per cent of Australian school students are likely to have head lice.

It is important that parents can identify head lice and know how to treat an infestation quickly and thoroughly. School children catch them from classmates and continue to re-infest each other, if the breeding cycle is not stopped.


  • An itchy scalp. You will notice your child scratching more often than usual.
  • Tiny grey/white eggs (called nits) near the base of the hair shaft.


  • Removal of the eggs with a metal comb.
  • Commercial treatment available in chemist.


  • Check your child's hair regularly.
  • Don't share personal items such as hair brushes.
  • Although not proven, many Australian mums suggest spraying your child's hair with water with a little Tea Tree Oil in it of a morning.

Visit Victorian Government Health Information for head lice facts and help.

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