Experts Partner to Launch Head Lice Awareness Initiative

Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, announces the launch of Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice, an educational program to help expand understanding of head lice infestation and how to approach treatment. Parents facing head lice for the first time or managing a recurrent or persistent infestation may not know where to turn for accurate advice.

Top experts in the fields of parenting, education and medicine came together to inform the campaign content and ensure parents have access to straightforward guidance on effective head lice management. The core of the Headfirst! program is its user-friendly website,, which was developed as a go-to site to arm moms, families and their communities with easy-to-understand tools and resources on head lice, including a printable e-book, educational videos and much more.

Head lice are tan to grayish-white insects, about the size of a sesame seed, spread through head-to-head contact. An estimated six to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States. Head lice can affect almost anyone (1-3) but most commonly occur among children ages 3 to 11.(1) Headfirst! Expert Advice on Lice aims to raise awareness of head lice as a common yet hard-to-treat problem that can benefit from expert advice and encourages moms to seek care from a healthcare professional.

"There are common myths and misconceptions about head lice that may impact how parents react to an infestation and manage the condition," says Headfirst! expert panelist and pediatric dermatologist, Nanette B. Silverberg, MD, FAAD, FAAP. "The Headfirst! Expert Panel was assembled to help empower parents dealing with lice and offer expert advice to help them manage and successfully treat it with confidence."

The group of skilled professionals that make up the Headfirst! expert panel include: Nancy Gottesman, health and nutrition journalist; Darline P. Robles, PhD, professor of clinical education; Nanette B. Silverberg, MD, FAAD, FAAP, pediatric dermatologist and Wendy L. Wright, MS, APRN, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, FAANP, family nurse practitioner.

"At any point, one to three percent of children in elementary school may have head lice. During an outbreak, the percentage of children with head lice may be as high as 25 percent,"(4) says Headfirst! expert panelist and professor of clinical education, Darline P. Robles, PhD. "Whether you are trying to combat head lice or simply like to be prepared, it's important to have easy-to-access and accurate information. Headfirst! provides information that moms and families can trust." offers head lice basics, including symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment options, as well as tips and checklists designed to help save time and reduce stress when it's time to battle head lice. Throughout the year, the Headfirst! Expert Panel will continue to educate families and their communities about head lice.

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parasites: Lice: Head Lice: Frequently Asked Questions. Accessed October 12, 2012. 
2. Meinking T, Taplin D, Vicaria M. Infestations. In: Schachner LA, Hansen RC, eds. Pediatric Dermatology, 4th ed. Mosby Elsevier; 2011:1535-1583. 
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Head lice: epidemiology and risk factors. Accessed October 12, 2012. 
4. Roberts RJ. Head lice. N Engl J Med. 2002;346(21):1645-1650. 
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parasites: Lice: Head Lice: Disease. Accessed January 27, 2012. 
6. Mumcuoglu KY, Hemingway J, Miller J, et al. Permethrin resistance in the head louse Pediculus  capitis from Israel. Med Vet Entomol. 1995:9,427-432.
7. Sim S, Lee IY, Lee KJ, et al. A survey on head lice infestation in Korea (2001) and the therapeutic efficacy of oral trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole adding to lindane shampoo. Korean J Parasitol. 2003;41 :57 61.