The Institute of Public Health encourages parents to do a lice check once every month

head louse Head louse.Photo:

People are not conscientious enough at checking their children’s hair for head lice, according to the Institute of Public Health.

They recommend doing a check for head-lice, ’at least once a month’.

If there is intense itching of the scalp, and an examination reveals that you, or your child, have got lice, what then?

You should begin treatment immediately and notify friends, family and others who have had contact (including the school your child attends) as soon as possible. It is most likely that others have been infected, for the lice are present long before symptoms arise.

‘The major problem with head lice is that it takes a long time between being infected and when notice anything. It may take several months before you start to itch. Some people never even experience itching’, said Preben Ottesen, a researcher at the Institute of Public Health, to NRK news.

‘With a check at least once a month, you will reduce the amount of head lice passing around in the community’, he said.

‘What do people think when you ask them to check at least once monthly?’

‘Stress, they think stress. It’s easy for me to say that one should do it, but it is also a fact that that is what it takes to eradicate lice’.

Research has shown that about half of boys in sixth grade had had head-lice, while the same was true for 60% of girls in the same class. Nevertheless, only 5% of the population actually check their children as often as the Public Health Institute recommends.

‘The vast majority check often enough only when they hear a Public Health promotion’.

Such a campaign is underway now. Week 10 has been national week for lice-checks, and parents have been encouraged to check their children this week.

The most effective method of head-lice prevention happens if people perform controls simultaneously, thus, if they discover lice, they start treatment simultaneously.

‘Mostly, many people are quick to alert others if they discover that they have discovered lice, and most are also adept at treatment. But what is important is to look for lice routinely. Checking frequency – that’s where the system fails,’ said Preben Ottesen.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today