A successful strategy for head louse control
The late Dr RJ Donaldson, affectionately known as Paddy, demonstrated in the 1970s that an intensive detection/treatment campaign can dramatically cut the prevalence of head lice. He was the tireless mentor of the Bug Busting Days organised by Community Hygiene Concern, taking a personal interest from 1986 in our development of wet methods of detection in preference to less effective dry or damp methods. Today Bug Busting Days are organised in partnership with the Department of Health.
“Public education is, indeed, a most effective insecticide”
The goal must be informed self-care, co-ordinated by community health, schools and nurseries, given that head lice affect most families from the time the first child begins to socialise with other children.
Community Hygiene Concern (CHC) is a non profit-making organisation set up in 1988 to help schools, community health services and parents cope successfully with head lice. Using action research techniques, we assess methods of detection and cure, working with families and schools. We disseminate information on best practice when we find evidence of effectiveness. We welcome independent evaluation of our findings. To date the only re-usable treatment for head lice, tested in independent clinical trials that have been reported in peer reviewed journals, is the Bug Buster Kit.
By encouraging schools to participate in our schools’ programme, the Departments of Health and Education are helping to ensure that parents have access to authentic Bug Busting information.
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Our experience is that complaints about head lice – which can be the first highest category of parent complaint – are reduced to a trickle by the school’s regular participation in Bug Busting Days, especially as the school’s catchment area is highly mobile (35% annual turnover)…The programme motivates pupils to take the message home. Having 27 ‘motivators’ – the average class size – makes all the difference.
© CHC 1998-2023