national bug busting day

National Bug Busting Day: How to Prevent Head Lice

Head lice may seem like a past nightmare from our school days, but it is still a common problem for our children. January 31st marks National Bug Busting Day, a great opportunity to raise awareness and educate parents on how to prevent head lice. Knowing how to prevent head lice can help stop the spread of one of our most frustrating, and embarrassing health conditions, and there is plenty of great advice out there to help.


What is National Bug Busting Day?

Launched in 1988, National Bug Busting Day has provided regular awareness days to help parents learn how to prevent head lice and stop their spread between children and adults. Established by Community Hygiene Concern, the day will see schools and families given materials on preventing head lice, as well as provide starter packs to families to use at home.


How head lice spread

Head lice are mainly spread through head-to-head contact with someone who is infected. Nits on the other hand cannot be spread, and are instead caused when head lice find their way onto the head and hair and lay their eggs. Head-to-head contact occurs easily between families and children who sit and play together in school, making their spread difficult to control. Head lice therefore still remains a common concerns in schools, which is why prevention is essential.

Preventing head lice

There are many habits which you can adopt as a family in a bid to prevent head lice, including:

  • Regular checks
  • Avoiding sharing
  • Paying attention to alerts
  • Being prepared for outbreaks

By ensuring that you check regularly for head lice, you stand more of a chance of detecting them early, at home, and without causing embarrassment to your child. Through early detection, it is possible to prevent eggs being laid, making it quicker to eradicate. This can be done through sitting under a good light and combing the hair thoroughly, paying particular attention to the scalp and to the nape of the neck. Checks can also be done using wet hair and a special comb for removing head lice which can help you find lice and any eggs which have been laid.

Whilst it may seem harmless to share personal items, it can easily lead to outbreaks of head lice, especially amongst children. Avoid sharing items such as:

  • Hairbrushes
  • Hair accessories
  • Hats, helmets and hair bands
  • Scarves and coats
  • Towels
  • Earphones

Your child’s school should notify you about a head lice outbreak. When this happens, you should not only check your child’s hair, but check their belongings too. Check their bags and anything else that they take to school in order to ensure a thorough inspection. Just because your child is showing no signs of head lice, doesn’t mean that they haven’t come into contact with them.

If an outbreak of head lice does occur, it’s important not to be concerned or cause panic. Head lice are very common and you shouldn’t be embarrassed because of them. Head lice are not related to cleanliness and are easily treated with the right treatments. By keeping a stock of head lice treatment and a comb at home, you will be able to get rid of them in no time.

By getting involved in National Bug Busting day, you can ensure that you’ve done your bit to raise awareness of head lice and taken the right steps to prevent them. If you are concerned about head lice, make sure you speak to your child’s school to find out what measures have put in place to prevent them. For more information about head lice, their prevention and the best ways to treat them, the NHS website is packed full of resources. Mark the 31st of January in your calendar and take steps to make regular checks for head lice this New Year.