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Head Lice

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of trends in the incidence of head lice over the last five years; (188749)

(2) what advice is given to (a) GPs, (b) pharmacies and (c) schools on head lice infestation;

(3) whether he plans to reintroduce regular inspections for head lice in schools.

Information on the incidence of head louse infestation is not collected centrally. Our policy, which is shared by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, is to encourage a ‘whole school approach’. This entails encouraging parents to check their children and other family members for head lice as need arises and arranging treatment where necessary, with advice and support from the local primary health care team. We have no plans to reintroduce regular inspections in schools.

The Department has produced a leaflet containing guidance on the prevention and treatment of head lice. The leaflet is widely available from locations that include schools and general practitioner surgeries and on the Department’s website at: