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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 October 2005, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
Mother takes action on head lice
Wet combing
Wet combing is one method of getting rid of head lice and nits
A Derby mother is starting an awareness campaign about head lice which she hopes will extend across the country.

Rachel Harton, from Mackworth, was horrified when her daughter, now aged eight, came back from school with head lice on more than one occasion.

She wants schools to be more pro-active in tackling the problem.

Mrs Harton plans to issue at least 300 families in Derby with information sheets, but hopes to eventually extend her campaign nationwide.

She has enlisted the help of Derby City Council, Lloyds Pharmacy and three schools in Derby to try to get the message across on how to handle the problem and prevent it recurring.

Delousing methods

Mrs Harton said: "I don't see why I, as a parent - and I'm only one of many at the end of the day - should go out and buy chemicals which cost me money because other people don't treat their children's head lice.

"It's like having fleas in your house without owning an animal."

The qualified hairdresser has treated her daughter's head lice by chemical methods and by wet-combing - the method she prefers.

She said it is best for parents to check their children's hair three times weekly - or at least once a week.

Wet combing removes the adult lice - stopping them laying any more eggs - and chemical lotions work by killing the adult lice and unhatched eggs.

Head lice live close to the scalp. They cannot fly, jump or hop and are spread when people's heads touch each other.

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