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Une enfant se faisant coiffer
11/10/2023 1 min

Head lice treatments: never use products for animals on children

On 2 October 2023, ANSES received a report involving the case of a young girl who was hospitalised in serious condition following the use of insecticides intended for treating parasites in cattle. Every year, the Agency is informed of cases where antiparasitics intended for animals are used to treat head lice in children. It reiterates that antiparasitic treatments for animals should never be used on human beings, especially children.

The cases handled by poison control centres mainly involve antiparasitic products for dogs, cats or horses that are used on children with head lice.

Antiparasitic treatments intended for animals should never be administered to human beings, especially children. Indeed, benefit/risk assessments of veterinary medicinal products prior to marketing authorisation are carried out for one or more animal species.

Although the risk to the person administering the product is assessed, the toxicological and clinical studies on which this assessment is based are mainly tailored to the animal species and therapeutic indications in question. Under no circumstances can they be used to support risk-free therapeutic use in humans.

In the event of head lice infestation, we recommend that you use the appropriate treatment based on the child's age, and that you seek advice from a healthcare professional such as your pharmacist or doctor.