HeadLice.Org Hot Spots

Fall In For a Comb Out

From the Pennsylvania Chapter of The American Academy of Pediatrics Newsletter
Early Childhood Health Link
- Fall 1997, Volume 8: Issue 4, Page 5

The National Pediculosis Association (NPA) recommends that schools and child care facilities launch a head lice prevention campaign. Don't wait 'til there is an outbreak at your facility to start thinking about prevention.

Lice are insects that feed on the blood of their host. They lay eggs attached to the hair near the scalp. The NPA says that the manual or mechanical removal of lice and nits from the hair is crucial no matter what treatment regimen is chosen.

The NPA recommends the following head lice management program:

  • Educate in advance of outbreaks
  • Break down stigmas and myths
  • Learn how to identify lice and nits
  • Encourage routine lice screening
  • Promote early detection
  • Institute a "No Nit" policy
  • Identify lice killing products as pesticides
  • Comb regularly as part of routine hygiene
  • Discourage the use of environmental sprays and lindane-containing products
  • Stress the importance of removing lice and all nits from children's hair
  • To help staff and parents, the NPA is selling a new, reusable comb device called the LiceMeister™. This tool is a big improvement over the formerly recommended popsicle stick method to screen for nits. Also, parents will find the LiceMeister™ helps a lot with making children nit-free. Many of the chemicals used to kill lice and nits are no longer fully effective. Those clever bugs are becoming resistant to all types of pediculicides. Avoid repeated use of these poisons on children by combing out all lice and nits the first time the child receives treatment. Keep combing to get out any resistant lice, late-hatching nits, or reinfesting insects. To make the job easier, recommend short hair cuts.


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