Bug Busting Day – Tuesday 31st January

Bug Busting Day – Tuesday 31st January

bug bustingBug Busting forms part of a national education initiative, asking parents and schools to help take steps to eradicate head lice.

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 practicePopulation screening
Who Initiates?PatientHealth service
Role of the subjectSick personNormal person
Role of the servicePassive, RespondingActive, Searching
Ideal goalTo restore health to a sick personTo detect disease in a “healthy” person
Minimum goalNot to make sick person worseNot 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.