Head lice are one of the most commonly reported health complaints from parents and teachers. The NSW Health Nitbuster program has found that when sampled, more than 23 per cent of primary school aged children in New South Wales had head lice. Infestations appear to be on the increase, due to factors such as:
- resistance to the common chemicals used in head lice products
- inappropriate use of the treatments
- changing social and school practices.
While head lice are not known to carry disease, they are a nuisance for parents and children. The social stigma associated with head lice infestation can affect children’s comfort and ability to learn in the classroom. Unsuccessful treatments can frustrate parents and lead them to seek more desperate measures that may be harmful and ineffective.
The Nitbusters Program addresses treatment issues and teaches participants how to handle the problem in a community setting.