September is National Pediculosis Prevention Month: How Not to be Surprised by Head Lice

Share Article

Relaxed school head lice policies fail to protect children from risky treatments and may contribute to more exposures. The National Pediculosis Association offers tips to parents to be proactive as a cooperative community so head lice won’t catch them or their children by surprise.

News Image
"The fewer children with head lice, the fewer children giving them to others." ~ Deborah Altschuler, NPA President

September kicks off NPA’s annual educational campaign, which will last the whole year long.

The non-profit National Pediculosis Association’s mission is to inform parents and help them learn how to avoid exposing their children to risky pesticides marketed for children with head lice. Pediculosis, the medical term for lice, is an unfortunate yet predictable part of raising children today.

This year’s CombFirst! Campaign offers a new educational video called “Don’t let head lice catch you or your children by surprise” and shares NPA’s recommended public health approach.

Head lice are highly communicable little parasites that feed on the blood of all human races and ethnic backgrounds. The increasingly relaxed school head lice policies urge parents to chase away head lice with risky chemicals and keep actively infested children in the classroom. These are attendance policies -- not health policies. There’s nothing healthy about asking a parent to shampoo a child with pesticides. There’s also nothing healthy about an endemic state of lice among kids.

But no matter what the school policy – NPA encourages parents to work together to do what’s safe, practical and best for their children.

1. Learn how to accurately identify and screen for head lice and their eggs (nits) in advance of outbreaks. Informed parents who make screening part of routine grooming can send their children to school free of lice and nits. Read NPA’s Deceptive Dozen so you are prepared with accurate information.

2. Strive to be first to detect lice and eggs in your child’s hair. This is the way to avoid the “Your child has lice” phone call from school. While important and helpful to be notified, it’s uncomfortable for parents to hear that someone else noticed their child had lice before they did. More important, when parents are first to notice lice, they are able to remove them before sending their child to school and potentially infecting others.

3. Screen regularly with a quality lice and nit removal comb. Remember to check yourself and all members of your family. Mumcuoglu, et al. reported:

“Diagnosis of louse infestation using a louse comb is four times more efficient than direct visual examination and twice as fast. The direct visual examination technique underestimates active infestation and detects past, non-active infestations.” The NPA developed and recommends the LiceMeister® comb.

4. CombFirst! There’s never a need to miss a minute of school when parents are first to identify and thoroughly remove head lice and nits early, when there are fewer of them to comb out. Combing is the scientifically reliable, safe and effective method to remove all lice and nits. It’s the most important tool for successful lice control and accomplishes what chemicals cannot. It enables families to be self-reliant, proactive and preventive.

Reliance on relaxed school policies for managing head lice fails to protect children from risky treatments and may actually contribute to more exposures. For these reasons, the NPA calls out to parents to be proactive as a cooperative community so head lice won’t catch them by surprise. The fewer children with head lice, the fewer children giving them to others.

The National Pediculosis Association®, Inc. (NPA) is a 501 c 3 non-profit volunteer organization, including scientific advisors dedicated to protecting children and their environment from the misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter pesticide treatments for lice and scabies. Proceeds from the LiceMeister® comb allow the NPA to be self-sustaining, independent of industry and accomplish its mission. @TheLiceMeister on Twitter!

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Deborah Altschuler
since: 05/2010
Follow >
Visit website