West Berkshire Family Life

Yattendon School Takes a Stand Against Nightmare Nits

Head lice have been given their marching orders at one West Berkshire school as it takes a stand against nightmare nits. A recent survey shows that nine in ten primary schools in the area have experienced head lice – and for more than two thirds of them, the problem is recurring. With the support of a local business, Yattendon Church of England Primary School is taking decisive action with a ‘Nit Buster Weekend’ (10 – 11 December) for the whole school.
This Friday, each child will be sent home with a pack containing a free nit comb – thanks to Thatcham-based suppliers, Sutherland Health – and official information on detection and treatment. Parents will be encouraged to check their children’s hair that weekend. If necessary, they will be advised to purchase the shampoo or solution and treat the whole family.
Rachel Manley, Head Teacher at Yattendon Primary School, says: “Like the majority of schools, we face a real battle against nightmare nits. The problem is known to be particularly prevalent at this time of year. Many parents are frustrated about the continued efforts they are making to tackle the problem, and conscious that everyone needs to be on board for it to work. They are firmly behind our Nit Buster Weekend, and we’re all hopeful that it will make a real difference.”
The school surveyed others in the area. Of the 29 that responded, 90 per cent reported that pupils have had head lice at some point, and 69 per cent complained that it is a recurring issue. For one school, long hair being tied back is now specified in the uniform policy. Others found that writing to parents in specific classes where cases had been noted was often more effective than a mass letter.
Despite the social stigma associated with them, head lice have nothing to do with poor hygiene. Andy Higgs, Chair of the West Berkshire Primary Head’s Association, says: “Yattendon is a great example of a school taking a stand on a health issue that affects most schools and nurseries. While not dangerous, head lice can be uncomfortable and frustrating to deal with. Many parents are not aware that, if their child has head lice, they need to treat all members of the family, and repeat two weeks later.”
George Sutherland of Sutherland Health, adds: “We are more than happy to support a local school in tackling head lice. We are also offering all West Berkshire schools a discount on our Nit Repellent Kit, so hopefully others might follow Yattendon’s example. Tackling the problem in a coordinated way like this is a great idea as continued prevention has to be the best option.”
NHS advice on detecting and treating head lice and nits can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Head-lice/Pages/Introduction.aspx#spotting
For more information on the discounted Head Lice Repellent Kit
offered to West Berkshire schools please visit https://shop.sutherlandhealth.com/west-berkshire-schools-head-lice-repellent-kit-.html 
9th December 2016

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