A NEW treatment has been approved by the NHS in Scotland to help tackle head lice – the first in more than four years.
The treatment, NYDA, kills lice and their eggs by suffocating them which is different to many traditional pesticide-based treatments, which poison the lice.
Over 200,000 children in Scotland have head lice at any one time.
And currently parents rarely succeed in getting head lice and their eggs out of their children’s hair.
Figures show that only 60% of parents check once a month or less often for signs of head lice and 53% fail to follow treatment instructions properly.
And around 73% fail to seek help with getting rid of head lice because of what other people might think.
But tests have proven that after just one treatment of NYDA head lice die within one minute while their eggs die within 8 hours.
Babs Young, independent nurse consultant, Children and Young Peoples Public Health, said:
“Head lice are not considered to be a high-priority health issue as they do not pose a major public health hazard, but continued infestations can have a long-term social impact on children and families.
“That’s why it’s so important for parents to have access to quality products, whether free on prescription or bought over the counter.
“Parents sometimes panic at the sight of lice, feeling disgust and anxiety when they discover an infestation.
“Younger children are less likely to get emotional about it, but they can still suffer as a consequence – losing days from school, experiencing disturbed sleep patterns through itching and discomfort, and so losing concentration in the daytime.
“Some may experience bullying and exclusion from peer groups. Older children can react more like adults, often feeling embarrassment and shame.
“School nurses used to be in a position to take responsibility for prevention, identification and treatment, while these days the responsibility lies with parents, but it is the duty of health professionals to support parents by providing quality education, advice and information on easy access to prescription services. “