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15 October 2014

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Mike's daughter has nits

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By Mike Michaels
Mike's daughter has head lice and her hair is being washed and combed out. Mike is incensed at what he thinks is a national scandal. Shampoos are not as effective as they once were and something must be done about the headlice epidemic - perhaps bringing back the "nit-nurse" or taking other action. He films the lice in big close-ups.


     BBCi Health - Ask the Doctor - Headlice

Your thoughts about this video


My daughter who is 4, is on her 2nd her lice infection !!! in June she had the 1st one...which lasted the summer 7 weeks...finally head lice free. She went back to school and 5 week later she has it again. When i was told i alsmost cried !!!! she has amazing long curly hair. she spent the night with a lotion and slept with cling flim on her head. This morning at 6am i was rincing and combing she was screaming !!! The school policy is to advice parents i get ride of head lices and eggs take her back to school and she will get infected again!!!! The poor thing thinks she has "poo" in her hair as in French head lice is "poux" (same pronociation) She spent the summer there with my parents telling her that she has "poux"...too confusing for a 4 year old.

Vicky, you can't deal with lice effectively at source if others don't do their bit too. Countless people here have deloused their children till they are blue in the face and they come back the same day with a fresh load. Please do not judge people. It's a horrible problem and one that will continue to go round in circles. My teenage boy tries to delouse himself every time he goes to the bathroom and I do his hair with solutions every night. Every night he is clear and then after school the next afternoon HUNDREDS of the damn things. I'm sorry, this is annoying, hurtful, demoralising etc. Don't knock parents that are trying.


I agree that the nit nurse should be brought back into school. I have been fighting with nits in my 4 year old step daughter's for ever since she started school well over a year and half ago. I do her hair regularly at the weekend and her mum does her hair through the week. Each time we get rid of them as soon as she goes back to school she ends up with them again, as the parents of the children that she plays with can't be bothered to sort out their hairs. I feel for the poor little thing as she has started to get picked on because of them and the school aren't interested.

I suggest all parents look up Bug Busting on the Department of Health Website

I once combed approx 40 eggs from my child's hair and about 4 live lice, one of which was huge. I was horrified and angry with myself for not checking sooner, but my child was only in reception and the whole school nit thing was new to me (never had them as a child myself). Since then once a week I used to thoroughly comb through mty childs hair regardless of whether my child had nits or not. To all parents forget the solutions that cost a fortune they are all useless. Buy a cheap bottle of conditioner and a bottle of 100% pure tea tree oil and a plastic comb as shown on the vid. Apply about a handful of conditioner and about 5 drops of the oil massage in hair. Separate the hair with clips and thoroughly comb through the hair in sections, the smaller the sections the better. Sorry but the technique used in the video is just no good, the crafty little devils just hide. rinse the comb after each sweep. leave the conditioner in the hair and add a few more drops of oil. Only wash the childs hair twice a week and always add a couple of drops of tea tree to damp hair and a little conditioner.I guarantee your child will be nit free. I continued this right through primary school. I am a working mum (my daughter had very long hair) but I felt it far better to spend time once a week rather than go through that horrendous ordeal of infestation again. I wrote a letter to the school about this and they put it in the weekly newletter soon the whole school had a tea tree aroma! The school also invited in a school nurse who showed a video of the technique and also shock footage of headlice. If everyone tried this we would soon eradicate these horrible little bugs.

Julie Briffitt
I would like to add my support to all parents who want to bring back the nit nurse. I have just spent 3 weeks de-lousing my daughter's hair repeatedly. I have used the lotion 3 times and painstakedly combed her hair twice a day every day to try to clear the infestation. Our school sends out alert letters for headlice (usually after me informing the school) but it still continues. My daughter and I are at our wits end.

William White
Our 6 year old daughter has had reinfestation after reinfestation since she started nursery. This problem has reached epidemic proportions in this country and should be approached as such. The main culprit in all of this horrible happening is THE PARENTS. Yes, the school can help in this with letters and education and yes, there are chemical companies all too willing to sell us their "remarkable new potion" but at the end day it is up to us as parents to eradicate the little horrors from our childrens hair. I'm not too sure that the reintroduction of the 'Nit nurse' would help cure the epidemic but it surely wouldn't hurt as a sort of preventative shaming tactic. Come on parents, get bug busting.

Lisa , London
I have 5 children and ever since my eldest who is now 6 started school she has had lice. This has now esculated into all 7 of us being constantly infected. The time alone to find to nit bust 7 of us while looking after 5 kids all under 6 and also being a working mother is almost impossible to find. On and off we have all had them for going on 3 years and I am totaly fed up. My children are loosing prescious mummy time because I spend every evening combing our hair approx an hour per day each, which is often midnight by the time I have finished! It is affecting our poor 9 month old baby too and we are constantly being bitten on our bodies too. I have changed the kids school because they just do not care.But still this viscious cycle goes on and on. No treatments work, the only thing we are able to do is wet comb daily and all this really achieves is just keeping them under controll, not irradicating.

I totally agree with everything Mike has said. I am disgusted by the attitude of our school nurse. She basically said my 5 year old could have caught nits anywhere, not necessarily the school.(4 times in six weeks!)I am doing my bit, spending time and money delousing, and keeping my daughter off school until treated, but other parents need to be brought to book for not doing the same. I am sick and tired of the same response from our school and I am curently contacting the local health authority and will really consider moving my daughter if the school refuses to accept some responsibility. Bring back the nit nurse quick and children MUST be sent home if found to have head lice.

Totally agree! My daughters school says they cant check the childrens hair because the infested children have rights, they cant tell the parents of the infested children because they have the right not to be informed. Well what about our childrens rights? They dont seem to matter. I have just written to my MP, probably wont do anything but thought i'd try anyway.

Martin Wheeler
We have just returned from Germany where children are sent home if they have lice and only return when they have a doctor's note certifying them nit-free. Unfortunately, my daughter took her own lice with us which she keeps getting from other children at school. The Top Marks Mousse we used prior to departure from England is next to useless. I put a louse in a sealed plastic bag of the stuff and it was still alive an hour later. We bought some Goldgeist liquid in Germany which killed all the lice and nits in 30 mins. Needless to say now we are back at school in England my daughter has caught lice again. Its a disgrace that schools do not deal with the problem seriously here and I can't wait til we move to Germany in August!

My child has headlice now,we have tried the expensive treatments and then conditioner and comb.They are still there,they are so small the eggs and blend in with the colour of her hair.I can see how easy they are to miss.I am looking to some natural solutions now.I know they dont like tea tree oil and lavender oil so these are my next steps.I find the hardest thing is to keep rewashing all the bedding and clothes everyday.With a family of four thats alot of washing.I have started just putting them in the hot clothes dryer instead of washing them everyday.The heat kills them.I dont see the problem ever getting better because people just dont care.Our school in Australia does check the kids hair and sends them home but it is still out of control.I have been straightening my daughters hair with a hot hair straightener because the heat would more than likely kill them.Good luck everyone!!!

Kate Kelly - Middleton-on-Sea
I am all with you and think that now the government should be involved. I have been treating my girls for the past 5 years of their school life and it is worse now than it has ever been. Hours of endless combing. Picking out eggs between finger and thumb nails only to be infected again. Nitty Nora should be back. I have offered my services to the school as I am a nurse and ex-hairdresser and they won't let me as it has something to do with getting concent from parents otherwise it is deemed as assult on the child. Even if I do find them on a child there is nothing the school can do to make that parent act upon it. My children have been persecuted many times for having them so now I tell them to be quiet. Deny all knowledge that it is them. I have become obessive with my checking and I really get down about the whole thing. I really hope that schools and government realise that this is frustrating and depressing for everyone involved.. from child to parent.

I found out my 3 year old had lice for the first time the week before last, I was more mortified that I had them because I have really long thick hair. I cleared both our heads, and checked twice last week and there was nothing, I have now found fully grown lice today and I am furious that he has caught them so soon. I found it extremely traumatic (I couldn't sleep for days thinking about it last time) and now when I thought it was safe to relax, we are back to square one. I find it ridiculous that our school cannot send out letters informing of an outbreak because of the 'human rights' of the carriers. What about my family's human rights? Our society seems to be going backwards. I went right the way through school and never had lice, and it was virtally unheard of because of the nit nurses. I would be extremely happy if they brought them back, and I think the government SHOULD bring them back, it might make the few parents who don't care do something for fear of embarrasment. I am keeping my son from school all this week (missing his education when he is not even ill!), and if he has them again I will be handing out my own leaflets to the parents. I have nothing to be embarassed about because I am doing something about it.

Hannah Johnson
This is not just a school epidemic any more. I have been unsuccesfully trying to delice my hair for over 6 months now. I've used every treatment available, and they just keep coming back. This is a problem, not only affecting me, but nearly everyone i know in my social group. Having done some further investigation in different parts of the country, it seems to not just be a problem for my community, but for everyone. I've never seen nit treatment adverts on tv until very recently. I'd also like to add that I never once had nits in the entire time I was at school. The situation is really getting out of control, but unfortunately the only way of combatting it is for everyone to denit on the same day, and not leave their houses until they're all gone. Unfortunately this is nigh on impossible and won't be promoted by the Government for economic reasons. I can't wait untill the MPs start scratching.

Heather Harrison
Totally agree with you mike..The goverment need do something about this.Its all well and good teachers sending nit letters out.But the parents who cant be bothered to check their childrens hair wont bother about a letter. I spent 4 hours yesterday checking my daughters hair only finding eggs.Did put derbac M on her in the end checked her again this morning for another 2 hours,And this is all because some parents just dont care.I wish something could be done about this as the schools are getting worst,what good is a letter.For thise who check anyway.! Im behind you Mike

BRING BACK NITTY NORA!... My 4 year old keeps getting them, me, the fool keeps her at home and makes sure that every egg is out (top tip... olive oil for 2/3 days in the hair while combing with nit comb)so now iv told the school that if its not sorted out,she's not coming back, after a letter by myself to all parents,put into the childrens book bags, just explaining its our responsiblity, not just the school, and reminding parents that if nitty nora come's back and your child is found with lice, well everyone will know what child had lice and the child would not be able to return until its lice free!! us working mum's cant really take to much time off, lets hope some people might start thinking about their kids heads. We need to make a stand, get people combing........ BRING BACK THE NIT NURSE

Gill Carberry
A doctor friend of mine recommended a treatment to get rid of the eggs, it is one she uses on her own children. Use 2 parts 40%alcohol, one part tea tree oil, and one part warm water, mix and comb through wet hair leave on overnight, or as long aas possible, then shampoo out. In addition to combing out the nits this treatment dries out the eggs preventing them from hatching, and no nasty chemicals involved. Hope this helps some of you.

The nit nurses were stopped partly because they were not effective in detecting head lice. In most cases, children only have a few lice and these can easily be missed unless the head is checked by combing through damp hair. A quick check on dry hair will only detect a heavy infestation. Also, headlice is a community problem, not just a schools problem. The only way to solve this problem is if everyone wet combs the hair once a week to detect lice and then, if present, treat with insecticide lotion or liquid (not mousse or wash in preparations) and repeats 7 days later. Alternatively, wet comb thoroughly three times a week for at least one week after the last live louse is seen.

It seems to me that we get a note home every week from our school informing us of head lice. What I do not understand is that the parents do not seem to be doing enough to get rid of them. I have just recently purchased a treatment from the chemist. It cost me nearly £10. I agree the nit nurse must be made available to schools again. As when I was a child at school. I never once got head lice and I put this down to the Nit nurse coming into school and keeping the problem in check.

Children suffering, what about the parents they suffer too. I have four children, blonde,ginger,brown and mousy coloured hair but they have all at some time had lice, whats worse is that I have also caught them, I find it really frustrating that I am careful I tie my hair back and we are all careful not to transfer but why me. When my eldest daughter was 8 (now13)she came home from school at least twice a week with one or two on her head, she got really upset and cried a lot during those times. I was forever phoning the school and telling them, their attitue was awful they just buried their head in the sand, however after a time a letter inviting parents from all of the local schools to meet with a nurse and discuss the issue of headlice out of 7 schools all within a 3 mile radius only 4 people turned up, I was disgusted, on average at the time I was spending £10 a week on treatment and combs to no avail, eventually through other reasons they moved schools and their attitude was really good at the school and now they are quite unheard of, for my children anyway.

Paula Redfern
In absolute dispair!!! As a teacher of twelve years, I have seen nothing like this present situation. There is an epidemic in our local area and nobody seems to care. My five year old daughter has just entered her seventh week of treatments (£70) and nothing has worked, as she simply gets re-infected. We have tried everything on offer. There seems to be no end to the problem. Schools urgently need to have a nit nurse, otherwise this epidemic will continue to spiral out of control.

Diana Khan
My granddaughter has been to 4 different schools since she started schol 4 years ago. It is only since she has been at the last school that we have had a problem with head lice. We continually complain to the school who do nothing about it. Her mother and I have used everythingthat we can think of to try and get her hair clear but to no avail. At the moment we are using the nit comb evry night but still no luck. We now which children inthe school are causing the problem but according to the head because of the human rights act they cannot exclude them from school, so parents who do care are the ones who suffer because a few parents are lazy. Perhaps if we all lobby our local M Ps we may get something done, especially as there is an election in the offing. BRING BACK THE NIT NURSE.

Karen Shepherd
I totally agree with Mike. Bring back the nit nurses, I have spent the hole of Xmas hols combing my 4 yr old daughters hair, bless her, as you can imagine she is as fed up as I am. I would even be prepared to pay a termly fee to bring nit nurse back. Children should be sent home if they are found to have nits, and checked on return, ITS NO FUN.

Janine Stead
Parents of school children - there are millions of us out there. Join us all together surely we would make some sort of formidable army. I'm just a mum (this is my job) but some of you out there will have amazing skills, contacts within media, schools, health departments etc. Lets join together and do something - lets organise a day of protest (a send your child to school in a hat day) a national no nits for christmas day - I'm on my soapbox and I'm sure that some of you out there have much better ideas. Lets get together.

Annmarie Williams
For a week I have been trying to delouse my daughters hair to no avail. I have informed the school but nothing was done no letter sent out nothing. The day I found them in her hair I informed the school who said that I had to keep her off school until they were gone. She went back to school full eradicated of the lice but two days later they were back! Once again I told the school who again told me to keep her off. I am sick and tired of this behavour its not fair on my daughter to miss school because of other childrens parents that cant be bothered to check and delouse there kids heads. Bring back the nit nurse please.

How depressing, that so many of us are afflicted with the same problem. There is definitely a preferred type of hair that lice seek out, I have 3 children and the oldest, Elinor, has the loveliest, thick, almost black hair, and is constantly getting reinfected with nits, despite constant vigilance. My second child Isobel has very different hair, thin and curly. Whilst I might find the odd one in her hair, she has nowhere near the problems that her sister has and getting rid of them when she does get them isn't a major problem. My son hasn't had them at all.

Alison Ball
Head lice, if left untreated can cause tiredness, irritability etc, hence the term feeling lousy! My 3 children have all had head lice; they have been deeply upset by not only the lice but by the treatments. Bring back the nit nurse - the first political party to announce this will win my vote and I would estimate, millions of others up and down the country!

We discovered 3 weeks ago that my daughter was infested with head lice. I kept her off school for the day to treat her and sent her back following the treatment. I continued with a fine tooth comb every night and a further treatment was carried out a week later. I informed the school but 3 days later no letter had been sent out. I spoke with her teachers and the Head Master and it would appear that this particular school have absolved themselves of any responsibility. The response I got was that they are no longer allowed to send out letters and that it is the parents responsibility. Whilst I agree that it the parents responsibility I believe that the school have a joint responsibility in educating and informing parents as to the communicable health of the children. My daughter is still infected and I am considering going to our local newspaper to report this outrage. I have spoken to the head of school nurses who offered me a video about head lice. I pointed out that it was not me who needed educating but those parents who do nothing to sort this problem out in their own households. I am at my wits end. I believe its time to go back to basics bring back the nit nurse and be cruel to be kind perhaps exclude children until treated or on a course of treatment.

Amanda W
I have two children aged 12 and 10. At times they have had nits and we have had to treat them and ourselves. Sometimes this works quickly, some times repeat treatments are necessary. Despite letters from school some parents obviously don't treat their children which does make the situation worse, but I think that some of you need to get your priorities right. Amanda described nits as "my worst nightmare came true". If nits are the worse thing that ever happens to her child then she should count herself lucky. We deal with the situation matter of factly. If treatment is needed we get on with it - combing, shampooing etc, but we don't make a big fuss about it. Some correspondants imply that their child (particuarly teenagers) are the only one with the problem - if this is the case then surely the problem is poor treatment at home rather than other children.

Tracie Baker
I couldn't watch the video but having spent 2 hours wet combing my 11 year old daughters hair for the first time I get the picture! I'm dishearted to read the comments as I was looking for more info assuming I'd done my bit obviously not! I think the nit nurse would help everyone knew who had a letter home after the nit nurse came when I was at school and parents may be more likely to do something. I have known schools to send children home, I've also known schools who refuse to believe the school has a problem! Either way the problem will remain unless all parties parents school and health officals don't work together to solve it. I for one will continue to check my daughter each day if I have too the avoid the truma we went through that night.

I completely agree with the general thread of this discussion; bring the nit nurses back and force those parents who refuse to treat their children to do something about it! We have had a constant problem in my daughters school since last year..most of the parents are treating, we have tried absolutely everything herbal, chemical, electronic combs, combing every morning and evening, everything, yet I have been told by the GP and the health visitors that basically we are wasting our time as long as there are parents who are not treating their children. We clear our daughter, then as soon as she goes back into school she is reinfected. It isn't the teachers job to try to sort this out, but the majority of parents in my area are fed up with banging their heads against a brick wall on this issue. If parents can't be bothered to treat their children, why should the rest of the children in the school as well as all the other families suffer? This situation is becoming ridiculous and hard action needs to be taken.

Bev Walker
I agree with Mike, but what can we do in the short term. My daughter Victoria as had them all summer and the quicker I seem to get rid of them the quicker they come back. I have tried all the counter lines, the twice daily combs and now I am at my wits end at what to do next, Can anyone out there help me please.

I agree we need nit nurses, my twins have had head lice for 3 years, no matter what I do they come back, the fleas are getting immune to stuff you put on it. When my son was smaill he had nits twice, I got stuff from clinic it worked wonders. When I was little I never had nits once and checked was by nit nurse.

I have had head lice problems with my daughter for almost a year now. I have tried everything. No sooner have I got rid of them they are back. The nit nurse needs to return. We need to sort out those parents who don't do anything about their kids. Its not fair on the kids and not fair on those who do care.

It's about time something was seriously done about headlice in schools. Being a parent of five children going through schools, I have found headlice to be a major problem, but I have too come to the end of my teather now that my fourth daughter has been continuously bitten by the bugs. It has gotten so bad now that they are even biting her body, yes her body. I have tried every means available to rid her of these pests. She is very down and constantly scratching as you can imagine. I remember the nit nurse when I was at school and we never had so many problems back them. BRING BACK THE NIT NURSE PLEASE.

Julie Trott
Well what a varying amount of responses, I am in agreeance with most, I do feel that both parents and schools are resposible for this, the parents in religiously keeping their childrens hair checked and de-loused and the schools in making sure that the children already infected do remain off of shool until they are clear, again this falls into the bringing back of the "Nit Nurse".

I was shocked to find my two daughters scratching like loppy dogs the other night and after having a good old rake through their thick hair, I was shocked to find an infestation of nits, I started to scratch my self and felt very lousy, the nit nurse should come back to schools and keep on top of this very common situation. I agree it is very expensive to treat but I would rather spend money treating it than having the embarassment of people pointing to myself and my children. I know that some parents have a lazy attitude to this and this is how my youngest caught them due to a girl in her class that always has nits, I have even resorted to asking her not to play with this girl, how cruel is that. But it takes up alot of time and tears to get rid of these pests. The NHS should provide free treatments.

My youngest daughter has had headlice more or less continuosly for the past four years. I have tried everything from prescription shampoos to herbal treatments to conditioner. She is now twelve years old and is very self concious because other children have started to notice and are calling her names. I don't know what else to do and I am at my wits end.

Bring back the nit nurse asap

Nitty Nora should be brought back into all schools. They should find an effective treatment and send all children infected with head lice home with the treatment and comb. Upon the child's return to school they should then be checked and if they are not clear they should be sent home again and the process should be repeated until they are clear. This is the only way to get rid of these pests. It should be made law!!!!

Killing the live head lice is one thing, but how do you get the eggs off of the strands of hair. Fine tooth combs don't pick them up. Chemicals do not affect them. My young daughters suffered the embarrasment of being turfed out of the hairdressers, when they discovered the nit eggs behind their ears. No live lice. Just the eggs.

Sam Williams
I understand wholeheartedly how everyone feels about the continual reoccurence of nits. My 3 grandaughters keep getting them, this has gone on since before Christmas, and as fast as my daughter is treating them, even to the point of throwing out old pillows and buying new ones and plaiting their hair every day, they come back! Bring back the nurses, why on earth has this been stopped anyway?? We all know nits have been around since the year dot, but it seems to me, that nowadays in this so called aware society of ours, technology might have moved forward but everything else has gone backwards. Is it THAT much of a chore/nuisance, whatever you choose to call it, for a nurse to attend the schools every now and then to do a check up, and even possibly arrange a talk for those parents who, for whatever reason, seem to be ignoring the situation? What's the point in treating your childs/childrens hair returning them to school only to get them back again? You're up against a brick wall then.

HELP!! My wife and I are in pretty much the same situation. Our 6 year old daughter has had head lice for about a year now and we have tried everything, and when I say everything I mean short of the Kojak option. At the end of the day the schools tell us to keep our children off while they are infected, if this is their attitude why are they so reluctant to take any kind of responsibility or help towards the irradication of what appears to be an epidemic.

I am sick and tried of headlice in fact I'm pulling my hair out. With girls its a nightmare to treat them .I feel the only way to tackle this is to bar children from school until they are deloused.

Tracy Johnson
My daughter has had headlice for 3 years. I refused to buy the expensive products over the counter and asked my GP to provide them on prescription. I have had very little support from the GP who just tells you to persevere. I tried for two weeks combing hair daily and when you think you ve cured it within a week my daughter was reinfected. She is now in senior school and is more conscious about headlice. It affects every part ofher life. Sleepovers at friends houses become a nightmare, we always make sure my daughter keeps her hair tied up and she will then check pillows and bedding before she leaves as not to leave any eveidence, that is not a way to live. You can remove fleas from dogs and cats with one injection but no one has found a cure for headlice. My daughter and I are so demoralised.

Kate Lawton
I have 3 children, 1, 5 and 9. My eldest daughter has been at nursery since the age of 3 and so I have spent the last 6 years continuously trying every method available to eradicate these pests. I do agree that in many cases parents of some children are to blame in that they do not keep 'on top' of the problem. I remember one mother at my daughter's previous school saying that her daughter was allergic to the chemicals of 'nit' lotions AND tea tree oil so she simply left her daughter's hair alone and so she was one of our school's main suppliers of the unwanted creatures. I am almost 40 and have very few memories of any children whom I was at school with actually have nits and, although I know the stigma of head lice then was far worse than it is now, having spoken with many of my 'older' friends none of us have every had nits nor do we know of anyone who had them. Nowadays however, it is rife. The schools and nurseries' hands are tied as they cannot even touch our children's heads without it been misconstrued as some form of child abuse. The National Health Service and Education Departments should get their heads together (no pun intended) and decide on the best course of action. They got is right many years ago so what's going on now? Parents are crying out for help. More often now both parents go out to work and therefore the time we have to spend with our children is precious and we don't want to have to spend most of that time dragging a tiny comb through our poor child's hair each night! So, yes, parents who can't be bothered to get rid of the nits from your children's hair get your finger out, but come on Education Departments and the Health Service lets get some help please we're desperate!!

The big problem is clearly that each child at school is at a different point in the infestation cycle. I think that nit nurse plus synchronised bug busting will be the only way of curbing this infestation. Bug busting is tedious but works if done properly. It is safe. It is cheap.

I agree with Mike, my daughter has suffered with head lice for about 4yrs now, treatments don't work anymore i've tried everything from the chemist, to old fashioned remedies. Other than shaving her head i dont know what else to do. All parents with school age children need to be educated on how to treat and try to prevent head lice.

Caroline Evans
I too totally agree with Mike. Vicky, it doesn't cost a fortune to buy a plastic comb and some conditioner but it does take time and perseverance by parents to get rid of the lice and no doubt here lies the problem. I am very tempted to allow my daughter to take her microscope (xmas present) to school to show all the children just how disgusting head lice are. Lice have vicious looking pincers and can hold a belly full of human blood. They are hardy and the eggs are tiny and hard to remove. Often only when they hatch will they be possible to comb out. I consider that the health dept, via GP surgeries/health visitors, should be providing much more information to parents, (perhaps at key vaccination times), about the life span of nits and lice and how to get rid of them. In my opinion the only sure way to get around the problem of parents who don't fight lice is to ensure the nit nurse is at school to check children. If necessary the nurse should be able to carry out treatment, at school, for those children who are repeatedly turning up for school infested. Otherwise it is unfair to the children who are treated at home and have to endure the fine tooth comb so regularly, along with their families.

The problem is that some parents just don't care. I told my 5 year old daughters school teacher that I had treated her for headlice so that the 'nit letter' could be sent out again. The teacher told me that 2 or 3 children in class had them and the parents had been told, but the response had been 'oh I know, they've always got them'. With reactions like that, it's no wonder the problem doesn't go away.

Syretta Hooker
I have to agree with Mike, My daughter is nearly 3, she goes to a nursery so that I can now work and recently we discovered that she has got headlice I have to say that I was disgusted I didn't think that I would be dealing with this so soon. I am at my wits end and it has ended in tears from my daughter and myself, I have tried lotions and 'alternative' methods to no avail. I have informed the nursery but obviously if other parents aren't acting what can you do! The nursery have put a sign up is there nothing else that can be done?

Julie Claridge
I totally agree with Mike I use my nit comb on my girl every day and nothing is working. I have studied these lice and found they live on clothes up to 2 days and in bedding. I myself am suffering a bad reaction to their bites after findind 3 in my hair. My body started itching and I found some even inside my teeshirt. I'm on to the local health authority who say they can send in nurses to talk to the children. Sooner or later you can't tell me that they will not start spreading infections.

Sarah Burns
Vicky I'm sorry to say you are wrong, I comb both my daughters hair daily and on most occasions I find nits on the comb. You can spend hours going through their hair and the following day or within days they have become reinfected. The nit nurse should be reintroduced into schools, I can't see why they were phased out. I would have no problem with any of my childrens hair being checked at school and I'm sure most parents would agree. It causes a problem for all of the family not just the kids.

I totally agree with Mike. Years ago schools didnt have such a huge problem, the nit nurse came in and got rid. Now the kids are allowed to go back to school and infect time and time again. My daughter is at playschool and came home with nits - my worst nightmare came true - it has taken hours of precious play time and money to get rid of them. Bring back the nit nurse and special shampoos.....

Bobbie Ambrose
I think that it is the cost of nit treatments that hinder alot of lower income families. I have just had my first introduction to nits, I treated my son, who is 3, 3 times in a week, at £12.00 a bottle. I also did my elder son, myself and my husband, it costs a fortune. I've always nit combed my sons twice a week, but this obviously is not enough, bring back the nit nurse.

I agree totally, my daughter has just started school and has came home 3 times with headlice, in 1 week. I think the nit nurse should be brought back, but i dont think children should penalised for what the parents, schools and government are responsible for.

Sorry Mike, but in my experience, the fact that your daughter has headlice of varying sizes and development shows that she is not picking them up at school but that you are failing to deal with them effectively at source, ie her head. Many years ago a school nurse told me the mantra 'if you break their legs they don't lay eggs' you need to clear your daughters hair of lice and eggs. Very few teenagers have nits because they spend so much time grooming themselves that the lice don't have a chance to reproduce.Its not a government or school responsibility, its a parental one. Vicky, long time inner London teacher!

Michelle Hill
I agree totally with what Mike is saying. It is ridiculous that children are having to suffer because some parents can't be bothered to do their childrens hair and send them into school knowing they have headlice. Bring back the nit nurse and send any child with them home until they're clear.

Mike Michaels
1.45 mins
09 Oct 1998
Video Nation Beds, Herts and Bucks
England - London
North London

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