Andover Schools Educating Parents On Effective Head Lice Treatments

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

They are the enemies of parents and teachers everywhere. Now, head lice are making their way through some Andover classrooms.

Most parents will gladly share their hate for head lice, but some Andover parents and school officials are using a recent bout with the bugs to clear up some misconceptions.

"You don't panic and you wash things like stuffed animals and sheets," said USD 385 nurse Kellie Bamford.

It's just part of the advice she gives parents taking on their first fight against head lice.

"One of the big problems that we find is that parents don't read the directions and head lice will hold their breath once you put water on them," Bamford said. "So you put the shampoo on dry hair."

She stresses the importance of treating the problem with the right shampoos and even some more unconventional, yet effective, methods.

"People use things like olive oil to treat; mayonnaise to treat for head lice," Bamford said. "There's many, many different treatments."

Jose Martinez and his wife recently got their first experience with head lice after all three of their children ended up with them at school.

"We took them home and washed their hair and went through their hair with a fine comb," he said. "It was about two-and-a-half hours for all three kids."

Bamford, the school nurse, said the biggest misconception she has to fight -- with parents and kids -- is the belief that lice are an indication of poor hygiene.

"Head lice do not mean that you're dirty," she said. "Everybody's thinking, 'Oh, but my family isn't dirty. I promise you I was the sheets.' We know they do because there's been research to show that head lice actually like clean hair."

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