Head Lice : Providing Effective Education For Children And Families Essay

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Head Lice: Providing Effective Education to Children and Families
Pediculus humanus capitis is the medical term given to the ever so common head lice found on many school age children, generally between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Head lice is found only on humans and typically any time of the year, however the incidence rate is highest between the months of August and November (Price, Burkhart, Burkhart, & Islam, 1999). Contrary to popular belief, the wingless parasites do not jump from one host to another. They are only transmitted via close contact between human hair or through soft fabric items such as hats, scarves, combs, and towels. Head lice do not carry or transmit diseases to their host, but they can make the scalp very itchy and removing them is an extremely tedious process. Head lice can also be very embarrassing for the children and the parents as well. The school nurse plays an important role in discovering the infestation and effectively educating the family of the child to ensure successful results with treatment and elimination. Most importantly the school nurse must be particularly sensitive to the child’s feelings regarding lice and avoid excluding the child from any activities to prevent shaming from their peers and overall feelings of embarrassment (Price et al., 1999).
How can the school nurse better educate children as well as their family members about head lice and ways to help prevent or successfully treat infestations?

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