Bug Busting Day – Tuesday 31st January
Parents (and carers) of young children are encouraged to check their heads for lice, regardless of itching or the sight of eggs. The aim is to identify and remove any lice in circulation, stopping the problem in one go and preventing endless circulation.
Schools (and nurseries) will inform parents when head lice have been detected on their premises, improving the likelihood of further cases being detected quickly. Schools also provide leaflets and further advice on how to treat head lice infestations.
How do you know if you have head lice?
It is only possible to state someone has head lice after a live louse has been found on their head. The most common indication of a head lice infestation is itching, though this may be weeks after first catching the lice or may not happen at all. A child who has caught head lice in the last month will often show no obvious symptoms, despite still being contagious. In most cases there will be around only 10 lice on their heads, and parents will not discover them unless they use a specific detection comb.
How to treat head lice
Wet combing is advised as the most natural, efficient and cost effective method to remove all lice. There are also various treatment lotions and sprays available through pharmacies or supermarkets, though please check the packet for suitability particularly if your child is under the age of 2 or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
|Clinical practice||Population screening|
|Who Initiates?||Patient||Health service|
|Role of the subject||Sick person||Normal person|
|Role of the service||Passive, Responding||Active, Searching|
|Ideal goal||To restore health to a sick person||To detect disease in a “healthy” person|
|Minimum goal||Not to make sick person worse||Not to make healthy person sick|
Remember that whatever treatment method, you should always check for (and remove) lice on days 5, 9 and 13 to avoid the risk of continuing infestation.