Studies Show That Head Lice Are Not Living In Your House or Schools

A recent study was performed by James Cook University at an elementary school where 2,230 children where examined. Out of that 2,230 children, 466 children had head lice and occupied 108 classrooms. A total of 14,033 lice were collected from these children with an average of 30.1 lice per infected child. There was at least one child in every classroom that had an active case of head lice.

During the study, they took the students out of the classroom to conduct the experiment by thoroughly vacuuming the floors and collecting the debris to examine under a microscope for evidence of head lice. Guess how many lice they found?

ZERO.. Not one louse or nit was found.

This study’s negative finding of no head lice on classroom floors has important implications for the management of pediculosis in general and in schools in particular. Schools do not have to initiate any special strategies with respect to delousing classroom floors even in preschools, where pupils spend more time than other grades on the floors. By extension the same will apply to the floors in day care centers and homes. Public health professionals should promote this message clearly to parents and guardians to decrease effort and time wasted by the general public on cleaning floors, seen by some people as an essential part of head lice control.

How do you keep lice away?

  1. It's quite simple: Keep hair back in braids, buns or at the very least a pony tail. It takes hair to hair contact to get head lice.

  2. Be proactive. Once a week take 5 minutes to wet comb your child's hair with a good quality lice comb. The Lice Raiders recommend the Nit Free Terminator Comb

  3. Use lice prevention products like The Lice Raiders Daily Mint Spray on hair daily to keep the critters away.

Have more questions? Feel free to call The Lice Raiders at 561-222-7901

Read the full study performed by James Cook University here

References

1. Speare R, Buettner P. Prevalence of head lice in a primary school in Australia

and implications for control. Int J Dermatol 1999;38:285-90.

2. Scott J. Book 1 – Head lice in primary schools kit [foreward]. In: Guidelines

for the School Management of Head Lice. Brisbane: Queensland Government,

2001.

3. Maunder JW. Lice and scabies. Myths and reality. Dermatol Clin 1998;

16:843-5.

4. McKay SJ. Myths and facts ... about head lice. Nursing 1999;29:30.

5. Chunge RN, Scott FE, Underwood JE, Zavarella KJ. A review of the

epidemiology, public health importance, treatment and control of head lice.

Can J Public Health 1991;2:196-200.

6. Burgess IF. Human lice and their management. Adv Parasitol 1995;36:272-

342.

7. Speare R, Buettner P. Hard data needed on head lice transmission. Int J

Dermatol 2000;39:877-78.

8. Juranek DD. Pediculus capitis in school children. Epidemiologic trends, risk

factors, and recommendations for control. In: Orkin M, Maibach HI, editors.

Cutaneous Infestations and Insect Bites. New York: Dekker, 1985. p. 199-

211.

9. Maunder JW. An update on headlice. Health Visit 1993;66:317-8.

10. Speare R. Head lice information sheet. James Cook University, Townsville.

Online document. Townsville: James Cook University. Updated: 21 May 2001.

Cited: 31 May 2002. Available from URL: http://www.jcu.edu/school/phtm/

PHTM/hlice/hlinfo1.htm.

11. National Pediculosis Association. Questions and answers: Moving toward more

effective pediculosis prevention in schools. Progress 1985;1:2-3.


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