Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 25/08/2014. Tags: Parenting
The Irish Pharmacy Union
have published advice to parents on treating head lice for this year’s back to school students.
Head lice are a tiny wingless parasite that only affect humans. They do not carry diseases nor are they dangerous but they can be annoying and very irritable, especially for children.
However, pharmacists are warning parents not to treat their children with head lice medication in a way to prevent head lice infestation. "This approach doesn't work, has no benefits and exposes children to pesticides unnecessarily," says Bernard Duggan, Pharmacist and Honorary Treasurer of the IPU.
It is thought that one in ten children suffer from head lice at any one time, and that children with allergies and asthma are more vulnerable to reaction from head lice treatments.
But, Mr Duggan also suggests that parents be vigilant and check for any signs of head lice:
"We are reminding parents that routine screening and early detection is the best and only prevention to an infestation of head lice. While it is understandable that parents want to try and prevent an outbreak, using treatment products as a precautionary measure does not work. We are reminding parents that treatments should only be used if there are nits or lice present in a child's hair", Mr Duggan said.
Are you worried about head lice? For more on how to deal with head lice please read our guide on symptoms treatments and prevention.