Head Lice Infestation – advice for all
Professionals working in schools and other organisations should be aware that a ‘Severe and Persistent Infestation’ of head lice or ‘nits’ (NICE, 2016) could be an indicator of serious welfare concerns for children and young people. This has been evidenced in serious case reviews.
It is very common for children and young people to get head lice and it can take time to completely treat the infestation, particularly if more than one member of the family is infested. However, a prolonged and persistent failure by the child’s parents or carers to treat the infestation is likely to be distressing for the child and could also indicate other welfare issues.
Parents and carers can be directed to the NHS Head Lice & Nits web pages for practical advice on the most effective methods for getting rid of head lice and nits. You can also download their useful Head lice leaflet (PDF) to share.
Other advice can be found on the following websites:
- Manchester City Council website at www.manchester.gov.uk for Guidance on Infection Control in schools & other child care settings
- Government website at www.gov.uk/head-lice for information about Head lice (Pediculosis)
- NICE website cks.nice.org.uk/head-lice for more detailed information
- NHS Health Scotland have produced a leaflet giving clear and helpful advice for parents and other concerned adults about head lice, their treatment and prevention. It includes details of wet combing, treatment lotions, bug busting, and ‘alert’ letters from schools and is available from their website at www.healthscotland.com