The children are steadily returning back to school or arriving for the first time. Most parents are relieved to see them back, with the exception of those whose children are first timers, and these parents usually hang around the school gates terrified that their kids may not miss them as much as they had hoped. Kids are kids and generally make friends quickly and slip into the normality, ( I use the word advisedly) of school life. There will be certain psychological adjustments, for parents and children, but in the main life carries on as the madness of new term merges into the general drudge of life’s routines.
For those with teenage children, there are the worries of puberty, exams and lack of communication. The sex word will have to be raised at some point, but the majority will hope that school sorts it out. But the dreaded word all parents fear is. nits! Believe it or not over 50% of 11-14 year-olds get them too. They are not always detected, because not every one gets an itch when infested. We spend over £30,000,000 a year treating them yet we have infestations of epidemic proportions.
Most parents will, within the coming months, receive a letter from their child’s school reporting yet another infestation of head lice. The majority will heed the warning delouse their children and send them back nit free. Within a few weeks the kids will be re-infested and the whole process will be undertaken again. With my own daughter this process went on until she was 11 years old. Children, unlike adults, are more tactile and like to touch heads together, in part maybe because of the way we align seating in classrooms. This behaviour is exactly what the louse need, because they can then move from one head to the other, ( louse are genetically programmed to move from one head to another to prevent in-breeding) re-infesting your child and helping to keep the Pharmacy and the medical companies profits up.
Why such an epidemic and how come they keep getting re-infested? There are two reasons: 1). Certain parents deny the very existence of louse when it comes to their own children and therefore never de-louse them. This means that they are lousy and will re-infest everybody else’s children. 2) Because we no longer have school health visitors. These professionals helped to reduce head lice, Scabies and poor dental health. Why would they be removed? Under Thatcher and her belief in ‘no-society’ there was no need for professionals to assist in the social integration and understanding of the general public. Therefore, why should the state ( Your tax money) pay for it? Instead, although in real terms no tax reduction has been given to us for the lack of these professionals or the neglect of our children’s health, we are now forced to pay for over-priced treatments that are usually ineffective or suspiciously toxic.
We put ever more of these chemicals onto our children’s heads because certain parents refuse to de-louse their own. Where in previous times, the health visitor would have isolated these children and their parents and taken action to de-louse them, no such people exist. Instead, parents are left to chat in playgrounds in the hope of deducing which children are the carriers and then having to tell their children not to play with them; usually a futile request or one that leads to ostracization and bullying of the poor child in question.
Sadly, under the current government, the idea of society (Big excluded) and public services are an anathema, which will not aid in the reduction of louse, scabies or poor dental hygiene. What we need back is, the Nit Nurse, what we end up with is every parent fighting for themselves and losing both money and the battle. Leaving us praying for the day when our children become less tactile and less prone to these irritating, easily rectified problems.
An interesting site for any concerned parents: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/nits_and_headlice.htm