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What Every Parent Should Know About Controlling Head Lice

© Michael Alan Morton PhD

Other Lice Busting Actions to Do
Since head lice cannot live without a human host, cleaning everything in your home can be a waste of time and energy. According to the NPA, your energy is better spent manually combing out lice and nits. Here are some home care actions worth doing:

  • Wash all linens and dry on high heat in a dryer.
  • Soak all barrettes, brushes and hair combs for ten minutes.
  • Check coat collars, hood and scarves for lice and nits.
  • Never use lice sprays! Carpets and sofas and chairs should be vacuumed every day until the infestation is over.

Avoiding Re-infestation
When children are young and tend to wrestle and hug and tumble together, the transmission of head lice during school hours is almost inevitable.

Here are some other steps to consider:

  • Make sure your children don't share pillows, hats, combs and hairbrushes with other children.
  • Wash linens often.
  • Check often for head lice on all members of the family.

Sources for Additional Information
If you have further questions about head lice and the present epidemic, these are some good sources to update yourself on the latest info about head lice and recommendations for products.

Bio Integral Resource Center (BIRC)
http://www.birc.org/birc

Changes & Company, Inc. (producers of The Nonits Program)
1973 Nevada Court Suite D
Los Osos, California 93402
(805) 543-0345
e-mail: nonits @ aol.com
http://www.nonits.com

HairClear 1-2-3
754 Washington Street
Eugene, Oregon 97401
(541) 345-5556
http://www.quantumhealth.com

Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard Institute
77 Lewis Pasteur
Boston, Massachusetts
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/headlice.html

National Pediculosis Association (NPA)
P.O. Box 610 189
Newton, Massachusetts 02161
(781)449-NITS
http://www.headlice.org

New York Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NYCAP)
353 Hamilton Street
Albany, New York 12210
(518)426-8246
http://www.crisny.org/not-for-profit/NYCAP/headlice.htm

Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP)
P.O. Box 1393
Eugene, Oregon 97440
(541) 344-5044
http://www.efn.org/~NCAP

Michael Alan Morton, Ph.D. is the Director, Homeless Services, Economic Opportunity Commission (EOC) for San Luis Obispo County. He is also the co-author of Five Steps to Selecting the Best Alternative Medicine,(New World Library, 1997) and the founding president of the American Holistic Health Association.


References:
  1. Chosidow, Oliver, et al., "Controlled study of malathion and d-phenothrin lotions for Pediculus humanus var capitis-infested school children" The Lancet, December 24, 1994, v344, n8939-4, p1724.
  2. "Health Alert", Health News, February 1996, v14, n1, p7(1).
  3. "A Lousy, Nit-Picking Epidemic", Time Magazine, January 12, 1998, v151, n1, p73
  4. "What's the Best Treatment for Head Lice?", Pediatric's Report's Child Health Newsletter, October 1993, v10, n8, p61(2).
  5. "Evaluation of treatments for head lice." (adapted from the British Medical Journal 1995;311:604-8) (Tips from Other Journals), American Family Physician, Feb 1, 1996 v53, n2, p740(1).
  6. "Head Lice Getting Ahead of Treatment, Officials Fear", I, April 12, 1997, p.1.
  7. "Head-lice Lotion Poses Health Risk to Children", The London Times, October 5, 1997, p.3.
  8. Lyons, Paula, "The Most Dangerous Medicine", Ladies' Home Journal, June 1994.
  9. Snyder, Karyn, "As Children Return to School, Lice Are, Again, in the Spotlight", Drug Topics, September 2, 1996 v140, n17, p68(2).
  10. "Safe Control of Head Lice", NYCAP, p9.
  11. Changes and Company, Inc.
  12. "Managing Head lice With Least Toxic Methods", Olkowski, William et. al., Spring 1991, Common Sence Pest Control Quarterly, v.7(2): p8-16.
  13. Richard J. Pollack. Personal Interview, January 12, 1998.
  14. Quantum, Inc.
  15. "Evaluating the Hazards of Pesticides", Quick Solutions (NYCAP), October 1997, p10.
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