September is National Head Lice Prevention Month

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"Even with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, parents, schools and child care administrators need to be prepared to control head lice."

The size of lice eggs (nits) compared to the head of a pin

"Because it's not about lice, it's about kids."

National Pediculosis Prevention Month was first designated in 1985 via H.J. Res. 223. This will be the 36th consecutive year that the nonprofit National Pediculosis Association (NPA), has sponsored its campaign to inform communities about the importance of routine screening, early detection and the safest possible approach to managing pediculosis, known medically as head lice.

NPA's president Deborah Altschuler says that head lice prevention remains important during the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents, schools and child care administrators can avoid unnecessary disruption, panic and risky pesticide treatments for children with lice by being prepared with accurate information via the NPA's website The good news is that pediculosis offers an early opportunity to teach children responsible personal health behaviors -- lessons that become invaluable in a world of other public health threats.

Just like hand washing, combing children for head lice is a basic hygiene measure. Thorough removal of lice and nits provides a reliable approach for parents and accomplishes what shampooing with potentially risky chemicals cannot. Combing enables families to be self-reliant and proactive.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently amended its educational information and included combing as a complete non-chemical treatment method for pediculosis.

The NPA's Head Lice Prevention Campaign offers an educational poster for the school nurse's office with a comprehensive list of the benefits of combing:

Parents should be encouraged to keep treatments chemical free and warned to avoid the surprise of head lice and the unfortunate abundance of misleading information on the subject.

The NPA thanks all who join in the 2021 campaign with a positive message of community cooperation and trust that parents will accept their role in safely and effectively returning their children to the group setting free of lice and nits (lice eggs). "Because it's not about lice, it's about kids."

September is National Head lice Prevention Month! More information on combing can be found at or email

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Deborah Altschuler
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