Dr Kevin Hill, chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG, asks: “Are you a parent who’s been driven to distraction by head lice? Then why not join forces with friends and neighbours to put paid to the tiny pests once and for all?”
That’s the aim of National Bug Busting Day, which is happening on Saturday, January 31 in a bid to find and zap all head lice in one fell swoop – stopping them circulating endlessly.
If you’re ready for the challenge, there’s a seven-point guide to the art of wet combing, which is considered the most effective way of removing head lice.
The technique involves the systematic use of a special fine-toothed comb which can be bought from local pharmacists.
The steps are as follows:
1 – Wash the hair using ordinary shampoo and apply plenty of conditioner before using a wide-toothed comb to straighten and untangle the hair.
2 – Once the comb moves freely through the hair without dragging, switch to a louse detection comb. Make sure the teeth of the comb slot into the hair at the roots, with the bevel-edge of the teeth lightly touching the scalp.
3 – Draw the comb down to the ends of the hair with every stroke, and check the comb for lice.
4 – Remove lice by wiping or rinsing the comb.
5 – Work methodically through the hair, section by section, so that the whole head of hair is combed through.
6 – Rinse out conditioner and repeat the combing procedure in the wet hair.
7 – Repeat the procedure on days five, nine and 13 so that you clear young lice as they hatch – before they have time to reach maturity.
Head lice can be treated with medicated lotion or spray instead, although no medicated treatment is 100 per cent effective. Medicated treatments should only be used if a moving head louse is found.
More than one in three UK children are likely to get head lice at some time during the year, and it is a particular problem in school children aged four to 11.
But there’s no shame in having head lice as it’s not the result of dirty hair or poor hygiene. Head lice can affect all types of hair, irrespective of condition and length.