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5 Tips On How Not To Let Lice Ruin Summer Camp

With summer camp season just around the corner, we’re sharing 5 important tips for avoiding lice this summer. Being prepared for head lice in summer camp is as important as packing sunblock. But first, let’s start off with a few head lice facts:

  • Head lice cannot hop or fly. They are spread by direct contact with the hair of an infested person.
  • Head-to-head contact with someone who already has head lice is the biggest risk. Spreading lice via infected items such as hats, brushes or sweatshirts is actually relatively uncommon.
  • Personal hygiene or cleanliness in the home or school has nothing to do with getting head lice

Tip #1: Do a Pre-Camp Head Check

PsuedonitsExamining your child at home for lice can detect an infestation early and save your child the frustration of being diagnosed with lice during camp registration. Lice, especially “super lice,” which are resistant to traditional treatments, are a becoming a growing concern for camp staff, and many camps have started conducting head checks on registration day. Campers with an infestation may be delayed from starting camp while being treated for lice, or possibly sent home. If your child has been found to have lice, it is in everyone’s best interest to let the camp know. Please do not keep it a secret.

  • Part your child’s hair to examine the scalp under a light. Watch for movement. Lice will move quickly away from the light.
  • Lice eggs (“nits”) may look like dandruff but cannot be flicked off with a fingernail. Eggs will be attached to the hair shaft close to scalp.
  • Use a lice comb to work through small sections of hair looking for lice or nits. Pay extra attention to the nape of the neck, behind the ears, under bangs, and the crown of the head.

Still not sure if what you are seeing is lice? Use this Free Head Lice Diagnosis tool to submit a picture and get an experts opinion.

Tip #2: Encourage braids and up-dos.

One of the key prevention methods is to keep long hair tied up. This reduces the opportunity for head lice to catch on to the hair. If you normally do your child’s hair each morning, take some time in the weeks before summer camp to help her learn some braids or up-dos that they can do on their own. Braid hairstyle keep hair looking good and less likely to get lice. There are tons of cool hair styles with braids or buns.

Tip #3: Use A Repellent Spray

Purchase, and teach your child how to use, a good lice prevention spray. The all-natural ingredients will work overtime at preventing head lice. No chemical smells or messy creams needed! It can be used not only on hair but even on hats, helmets. Have them spray on the the first day, and every couple of days during their stay.

Tip #4: Educate Your Kids

Talk to your child about preventing lice at camp. Make sure your child knows how lice are spread. Teach them to avoid close head-to-head contact with other campers, and to avoid sharing personal items like caps and pillows and helmets. Label your child’s hairbrushes and remind your child not to share their hairbrush with anyone.

Tip #5: Be Proactive

Regular screening is also key to lice prevention and infestation. Camp has a responsibility to the campers, staff and families to prevent outbreak of lice. If camps performed weekly screenings on their children infestations would be much more unlikely to happen. Ask your camp management on how they handle the lice situation and don’t be shy on suggesting they integrate Camp Head Lice Screening as part of their program.

Knowledge is the important factor and the first line of defense against head lice. Overall, if you are still unsure, the best advice is always to contact your local head lice professional. But don’t stress out, lice do not carry any harmful disease and getting lice is part of life and part of childhood.


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