Desperate parents using flea products for kids' head lice

FRUSTRATED parents have taken to treating their children's head lice with dangerous animal flea products.

Products used have warnings stating they can be dangerous if absorbed into the skin.

One product states it has fenthion in it, a cholinesterase inhibitor which can alter DNA.

A Rotorua mother, who does not want to be identified, said she resorted to using the animal treatment on her young daughter after continous infestations and months of treatments.

She is one of four spoken to who admitted using animal treatments on their children.

The mother said other parents at daycare and school were not treating their children, resulting in her child being reinfested weekly.

After first trying it on other family members and herself, she treated her daughter with "fantastic" results.

"I don't feel good about using any sort of poison on my family but I was beside myself with frustration and guilt because I couldn't keep my beautiful girl free of filthy kutus ..."

VetPlus Rotorua receptionist Maureen Wallace said she had many queries from parents wanting to buy flea products to treat their children but they refused to sell them.

Bay of Plenty Medical Office of Health Dr Phil Shoemack said it was unwise to use products, such as flea treatments, which weren't registered or tested for human use. Any risks to humans were unknown.

Pharmacy 44 pharmacist Ian Edward said, "The old fashioned way of combing the hair strand by strand is the crucial element. Using the shampoo alone is not a magic cure on its own ... it's a time consuming task".

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