Barnardos Ireland have said the cost of living crisis means parents can’t afford the €10 to €15 lotion to treat head lice (Picture: Getty)

Children are living with head lice due to their parents being unable to pay for treatment as the cost of living crisis continues.

Stephen Moffatt, Barnados Ireland’s national policy manager, said parents are making ‘considerable cutbacks’ as the charity found 17% of parents have cut back on medical appointments or supplies.

‘In cases in which parents with children who have had head lice, just literally didn’t have the €10 to €15 to go out and buy that lotion,’ he told the Irish Mirror.

‘Things like that obviously affect kids socially, like when they go to school.’

Barnardos’ report on the impact of the cost of living crisis on children – published today – also found of the 329 parents and guardians surveyed, more than a quarter have had to cut back on heating.

Half of them have had to reduce activities and entertainment for their children, while 23% and 16% said they had to cut down on electricity and food respectively.

Suzanne Connolly, CEO of Barnados Ireland, added: ‘70% of parents said that cost of living increases have negatively affected their children over the past six months, and almost two thirds are worrying regularly about being able to provide their children with daily essentials such as food, heat and electricity.

‘These national findings, and our experience on the ground, tell us that more and more families across Ireland are falling into financial distress.  We are calling on the Government to introduce a hardship fund through the Department of Social Protection where families can go to get support paying essential bills when otherwise their children would go without. 

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‘At Barnardos we say childhood lasts a lifetime, which is why it is so important for the Government to act now.’

Metro.co.uk reported how in March a single mum of two said she felt like ‘I’m at my breaking point’ and is ‘often unable to sleep at night’ over rising prices.

She said: ‘The thought of not being able to provide for my own children makes me sick to my stomach. I should be able to afford to buy them a Flake to go in their ice cream and to take them on a little outings. But I can’t. 

‘I can’t pay for holidays, after-school clubs, or days out. The kids constantly hear me say ‘no’ to anything that costs money.

More: Cost of living

‘I just want a break from thinking about money. I just want to do more than survive.’

Meanwhile mum-of-three Efi Nydrioti, from Cardiff, told Metro.co.uk she had to stop spending an estimated £60 a month to allow her children to go to ballet, gymnastics or taekwondo lessons.

She said: ‘At some point, I may have to choose between heating the house and feeding my family. Not yet, but it could become reality soon.

‘Our life has become one of survival. Instead of enjoying our days, we are worrying about how to afford them.’

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