All too often schools recommend that families use chemical lice treatments on their child’s head, despite mounting evidence that head lice are resistant to these products.
Many families in the Killeen, Fort Hood, Temple, and Waco areas have had to deal with head lice. One frustrated mom called us recently to say:
“I don’t understand why our schools advise students to use chemical lice products when everybody I know who has used them thinks they are a waste of time and money.”
Amen to that.
We too are very frustrated about this. Our only answers to this are:
- there is always a reluctance to change;
- there is a lack of knowledge in the community at-large about how to deal with head lice.
We try to educate school nurses through letters, webinars, and articles about the lack of efficacy of these products as well as the potentially harmful side effects.
We are not the only ones out there trying to educate school personnel and parents about lice chemicals and the prevalence of “super lice”, which are lice that are immune to all chemicals. A major study undertaken at Southern Illinois University two years ago confirmed the presence of super lice in 47 states and show that these lice do not respond to chemical treatments. In addition the national pediculosis association, located in Massachusetts, is an independent organization whose focus is the eradication of head lice. They are adamant in their opposition to the use of lice chemicals and they state quite plainly on their web site (www.headlice.org) that the only way to eradicate head lice is to physically extract all eggs and bugs from the hair.
We know that we have a big task ahead of us: to educate school personnel as well as parents about the dangers of chemical lice treatments. If you’ve had the unfortunate experience of using chemicals then we urge you to speak up to your schools and let them know that there are alternatives that are safer and that actually work.