The Nitbusters program is a NSW Health initiative to reduce the prevalence of head lice in the community. This project was developed in consultation with the NSW Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations and the NSW Department of Education and Communities. It educates school children and parents about head lice and how to screen for and treat them as a community.
The program is aimed not at eradicating head lice but at identifying and managing infestations. Nitbusters tries to educate communities through schools about the most effective ways to reduce populations of head lice by encouraging school ‘Nitbuster days’. These days are coordinated by parent volunteers, who use a fine-toothed nit comb and white hair conditioner to both screen for and treat head lice.
Unfortunately the complete elimination of head lice is not realistic; however, Nitbusters recommends a safe, effective and simple method of removing head lice that can be used regularly to make the management of infestations easier. This involves keeping a good quality nit comb in the shower and training children to use it every time they wash their hair, even if their heads are not itchy.
This and other methods of head lice management can be demonstrated through Nitbusters training days in primary schools across New South Wales. Neighbouring schools can also attend these days, which are designed to educate schools and parents on how to coordinate their own Nitbuster program.