When your beautiful new born baby is handed to you, medical staff never mention the potential years of head lice to come. But lice and nits are an almost inevitable part of childhood.
At one time the main age for being infected was between four and ten but that has now moving up to senior school children.About 30% of our clients are now tweens and teens.
Children can get head lice when they have close hair to hair contact with a carrier and tend to play in very close contact with each other. Schools, sports, playgrounds and holiday camps are great places for sharing head lice. Once a family member has brought head lice into the home,they tend to spread very quickly in loving families that share hugs, cuddles, reading a story together or snuggling on the sofa watching TV.
Unfortunately, one of the worst things about head lice for children is bullying and name calling. We hear heart-breaking stories from children whose friends have been told not to play with them. Or they have been told they are “dirty”.This is very sad and completely unnecessary. Head lice are NOT a sign of poor hygiene, they are simply an easy infection to get because of how children interact with each other.
There are simple precautions we can take, such as not sharing hair brushes and keeping long hair tied in the nape of the neck so as to prevent hair to hair contact as much as possible.
Education is key to break the stigma of head lice. Schools need to support the parents that are struggling,keeping open lines of communication on how to treat them and check for them.