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Nit Patrol
- Managing Head Lice in Primary Schools and Child Care Centres

Head lice don't carry diseases but they are still a significant problem in schools and child care

Head Lice Management is Possible

Thousands of kids get head lice every year. NSW health has previously sampled primary school aged children in NSW and found 23% had head lice (NSW Health). That is a lot of itchy heads, distracted children and days off school. Not to mention the wasted time (and money) spent by parents screening the family, treating those infected and cleaning the house!

There is also the emotional stress to consider. The stigma associated with head lice infections is alive and well! Parents worry that their family might be judged, and the children infected are frequently embarrassed or self-conscious and may even be a target for bullying. 

School staff are also impacted, teachers are concerned for the children and worry they may pick up the infection. Admin staff have added workload from stressed parents and additional communications that need to be sent. 

Why are lice so common in primary school and child care?

 It's got a lot to do with young children's behaviour and that they are still developing their sense of body space. They like to huddle together and have no inhibitions about getting into each others body space. This creates the ideal opportunity for head lice to transfer.  So once there is head lice in the class the peer group is quickly infected.

The reason we find it hard to get rid of them is because parents tend to act in isolation. Immediately lice are discovered actions are taken by the family to treat and remove. Even if the school is alerted, it can take a day or two before a "Lice Alert Note " is distributed to others in the class, and even when the system works screening and treatment actions are out of sync.

Let's imagine a scenario: Jo is discovered to have head lice on Friday and is treated on Saturday. Parents tell the school on Monday. Head lice notice efficiently goes out on Monday. Following notification, Sam, who is in the same class, is found to have lice and treatment is organised for Tuesday after school. However, Jo and Sam have been playing together all Monday and Tuesday and one Louse has managed to move on to Jo's newly treated head and they are re-infested! and around and around and around.....

So even when parents are doing the right thing and the school is promptly notifying the class, the chances of getting head lice under control is very difficult.

 A new way to deal with head lice outbreaks at school and child care - Nit Patrol

 Lousy Solutions' "Nit Patrol", builds on the objectives of  NSW Health, "to reduce the prevalence of head lice by educating school and child care communities about head lice and how to screen and treat".
Nit Patrol goes further by providing in-a-box tools and expert consultancy to support the planning and implementation of a coordinated control strategy, which requires minimal reliance on staff or parent volunteers.

If your school or child care centre is experiencing a lice outbreak you should know that there is so much more that can be done over and above the standard lice note being sent home.

In an outbreak, it helps if a community can understand the cause of their lice problem so they can map-out priorities and set meaningful head lice management objectives and strategies that are individualised and relevant to their community's needs.

Lousy Solutions are experts in providing support for the implementation of head lice policies in schools, child care and other small communities. We can work with the school or centre administration, the P and C, or other parent bodies, to define objectives and strategies. Our off-the-shelf tools  educate and support the community creating an  environment that is resilient and able to defend itself from head lice outbreaks.

Our Head Lice Barometer Survey can answer questions such as: Is the problem focused in a particular class or year? Is a low level of knowledge about head lice inhibiting effective family screening? Is there a need to normalise the conversation around head lice to reduce the stigma?

Our Workshops and Presentations are designed to educate the community (Parents and Staff) on how to combat lice, the importance of community co-operation, and the role each member must play to achieve success.

The Community Communication Program sustains and normalises the conversation about lice, encouraging the community to talk freely about head lice thereby minimising the stigma and improving cooperation.

Sometimes a class, a year, or a school wide intervention can be helpful to get on top of an outbreak and to break the cycle of reinfestaion. We can help plan and implement a Coordinated At Home Screening, providing motivational communication, education on screen and treat techniques, and surveys to monitor success.

We support the community with reliable, scientifically-backed, information across all our programs. We can also provide direct access for parents and staff, to expert help through our Head Lice Help Line.  Most importantly, our overriding focus is to support the community and stop the cycle of re-infestation.

Our Nit Patrol tools are effective, simple to implement and designed not to add to the administration/class parent workload.

We do the work for you!

Check out some of the tools we offer below or call / text us for a confidential chat about a tailored program.

Nit Patrol Program

Workshops & Presentations for Parents & Staff

Educate and normalise the conversation around head lice

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Presentation icon for customised education on head lice
  • 15min -1hr Presentation

    • Customised content to suit your situation

      • Biology, life cycle, treatment options, prevention etc​

    • ​Q&A
  • Suitable for:

    • parent education e.g., item in Kindy orientation program or class parent functions

    • Staff training

  • In-person or on-line

Nit Patrol Program

Head Lice Barometer Survey

Many cases of head lice go unreported to administration; The Head Lice Barometer is designed to uncover what is really going on, so meaningful, community specific objectives can be set for your school or child care centre

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  • What is the Head Lice Barometer?

    • On-line anonymous survey for parents, carers and staff.

    • It quantifies the size of the problem.  

    • It quantifies the impact on parents and staff and gauges the community sentiment to the problem.

    • It measure the current knowledge base on lice biology and behavior as well as treatment and prevention practices.

  • Anonymity encourages participation and more accurate answers

  • Findings are used to develop community specific education and management objectives.

  • Results can be used as a benchmark to monitor progress over time

  • Data can be bench-marked to  de-identified, aggregated data from other participating communities.

Nit Patrol Program

Coordinated At-Home Screening

Break the re-infestation cycle with a coordinated attack

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Presentation icon for customised education on head lice

This tool has elements of the NSW Health Nit Buster Program in that a whole school or class "screen and treat" is implemented. It is made more practical by being done at home by parents rather than at school by volunteers. It includes:

  • Co-ordination of a weekend screen and treat activity for the whole school, year groups or classes

  • Step-by-step instructions for screening and head lice and nit removal

  • Customised communications program to promote and coordinate the event

  • Follow-up survey to collect results

  • Event report summary suitable for  publishing to community

  • Minimal school resource required to implement.

Nit Patrol Program

Head Lice Help-Line

Support for your community to get expert advice when they need it

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This tool includes:

  • Direct access to Lousy Solutions help-line or email for parents and staff

  • Individual advice / support on:

    • correct screening method,

    • nit  removal techniques,

    • choosing a treatment,

    • lice biology and behavior

    • persistent infestations

    • etc.

  • Can be accessed as a once off during an outbreak or all year round


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