Not all parents check for head lice often enough


The Public Health Institute (FHI) have asked parents to take out the lice comb.


“Our investigations have shown that parents check their children too rarely. Many never check them,” said Preben Ottesen, Director of the Pest Control Department at FHI.

FHI recommended checking for lice at least once a month,and are running campaigns about this every spring and autumn. The goal is to reduce the occurrence of head lice.

To do that, parents must prevent infection and repetition.

“It may take three to four months from becoming infected with head lice until kids begin to itch. Meanwhile, the lice will have had many generations and children will have been able to infect many of their friends.

“If you do not take a joint action with the friends families, it won’t take long after you have treated yourself before you get back the lice you gave away to your friends in the previous round. In order to break this eternal circle of infection and repetition, it is important to take joint action.

Although itching is a common sign of head lice, and most people start to scratch after a few months, it’s not everyone who scratches. Therefore, the advice is to make a check regardless of whether the children have been itchy or parents have noticed something or not.

Here’s how to get rid of them

If you have been infested with head lice, it is most effective to use head lice medicine, according to Ottesen. He recommends drugs containing the active ingredient ‘dimethikon’.

“These have the best effect,” he said.

It is also possible to get rid of head lice by removing them, but it can be a patience test for both adults and children.

“It must be done at least every other day for over two weeks, and many will perceive it as quite time-consuming and stressful,” said Ottesen.

Short hair

The lice can also disappear with something called ‘hot air grease’, but such appliances are not largely in the public domain.

“If you are talking about little children, especially boys, you can simply shave their heads. This can be a little stressful when kids get older, and especially for girls, but it’s a method. If hair is shorter than half a centimetre, the lice don’t manage to survive.

‘’What can you do to avoid lice in the first place?’’

‘’Become a hermit’’, laughs Ottesen before continuing:

“It’s hard to avoid. The lice spread when two heads come together. There are many myths, such as not switching hats and combs, but they are completely marginal and perhaps non-existent means of infection. It is direct head to head-contact which is the method of infection. Children have close contact, and you can hardly demand that they do not have contact with each other.


© NRK/ #Norway Today