We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Child scratching head via Shutterstock
Back To School

Parents urged to check children for head lice in the coming weeks

With children going back to school in the coming weeks, pharmacists are warning about the dangers of head lice.

PARENTS ARE BEING urged to routinely screen their children for head lice as they return to school in the coming weeks.

Pharmacists say that parents should inspect their children’s hair for lice every week and particularly in the run up to them going back to school in the next few weeks.

Head lice infestations are most common in children aged between 4 and 11 and most children will get them at least once.

There is no way of preventing head lice but early detection can make it easier to get rid of them and reduce the likelihood that there will be an outbreak.

Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) vice president Kathy Maher said: “While lice aren’t dangerous, they are extremely contagious and their bites may cause a child’s scalp to become itchy and inflamed.

“Persistent scratching may lead to skin irritation and, potentially, even infection so it is important to treat head lice quickly.”

Maher claimed that head lice are an “age-old pest” with lice combs and the remains of mummified lice found in ancient Egyptian tombs which date back thousands of years.

The IPU has released a five-point checklist for parents to inspect their children’s hair:

  1. Check children’s hair regularly by wet combing the hair every week to search for nits/lice.
  2. Always tie up long hair in a ponytail to avoid hair coming into contact with other hair that might be infected.
  3. When necessary, treat the hair as soon as possible, but only if live lice or unhatched eggs are present. Ask your pharmacist about the most appropriate treatment option for your child. Never treat a child as a preventative measure – it isn’t effective.
  4. Inform the school, their friends and other contacts immediately if your child is infected as everyone will need to be checked.
  5. Keep calm and make the experience as least distressing as possible for the child.

United Nations: People need to get their heads around eating insects

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.