Parents lose 97,120 working days due to head lice

Mums and dads admit to not checking their children’s heads regularly for head lice, and catching them too, according to new survey


Head lice are an unwelcome visitor in most households, but it seems these pesky little critters are also having an impact on the economy.


A new survey shows head lice are costing Northern Ireland a whooping £8.6m a year, with parents taking 97,120 days off work and children missing 62,327 days from school as a result of the problem.

Just 22% of parents in Northern Ireland said they check their children’s heads once a week. Parents of children aged four to seven are the most vigilent, but still only 50% do a weekly inspection, according to the survey by market research firm, Ipsos Mori.

A further 9% say they only check when they notice their youngster scratching, and 7% need the nudge of a school letter warning of a lice infestation to get the comb out.

Mums and dads are being warned to address the problem early. Not sure how? Here are five ways to prevent head lice infection.


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