British children are suffering from severe head lice infestations because parents refuse to treat them, an expert has claimed.
An increasing number of parents are failing to treat head lice in their children because they fear using chemicals or simply ‘can’t be bothered’.
Parasitologist Ian Burgess, director of the Medical Entomology Centre in Cambridge, warned parents’ relaxed attitudes were contributing to an increase in serious infestations which can cause skin infections and put other children at risk.
He said: ‘People are putting up with them for much longer than they would have done in the past. It could be that they don’t want to use a treatment or they simply can’t be bothered.’
Around one in 10 primary school children in the UK has head lice – tiny insects which live and lay their eggs in hair. Their empty egg cases which stick to hair are known as ‘nits’.