By Sheila Fassler, RN – Owner of Pediatric Hair Solutions
As you prepare to send your child to camp this summer, you should also prepare for the potential of head lice.
Unfortunately, lice enjoy camp as much as your kids do. 97% of head lice cases are spread by head to head contact and the close quarters of summer camp make it the perfect environment for lice to spread.
If your child is going to camp this summer, here are some tips to keep them lice-free:
1. Check the Camp’s Head Lice Policy
Many camps conduct head checks at intake day/drop off. If that’s the case you’ll want to get your child checked for head lice a few days before you bring them to camp. That will give you time for treatment and will prevent your child from missing out on camp activities.
If the camp does not have a head lice policy, it’s a good idea to have your child checked for lice by a professional as soon as they return from camp. Head lice is present in 2% to 4% of school-aged children so chances are good there are kids at your child’s camp with active cases of head lice.
2. Keep Hair Up and Tight
If you have daughters, they should wear their hair in tight buns or braids to prevent lice from spreading. Hair worn in ponytails is generally too loose to prevent the spread of lice.
3. Make a ‘No Share’ List
Talk to your child about items they should not share at camp. A ‘No Share’ list should include pillows, blankets, hair brushes, combs, hair accessories and hats.
4. Use Prevention Spray
Head lice have an acute sense of smell and they do not like several scents including mint, rosemary and tea tree. Spritz preventive spray on the hair at the start of each day to help repel lice looking for a new host. We chose mint essential oil for our proprietary Lice Preventive Spray because it is a more pleasing scent for children and adults who use it.
5. Avoid Selfies
If your child is old enough for their own phone, encourage her or him to avoid taking selfies with friends at camp. Posing for a picture with heads close together may make for a great Instagram moment, but it’s also the perfect environment for lice to spread from one head to another.
There’s nothing to fear about head lice but keeping it at bay during summer camp will ensure your child has a stress free and fun filled experience. The most important thing is to practice prevention and to catch it early so it can be treated right away.
About the Author:
Sheila Fassler, RN, worked as an Intensive Care Unit nurse and a volunteer school nurse at her children’s elementary school. She founded and owns Pediatric Hair Solutions, the only licensed health care facility dedicated to the treatment of head lice, located in South Charlotte, Lake Norman and 6 other locations in the Carolinas. Sheila was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. She attended the Akron University College of Nursing. After marrying her husband, the two moved to the Carolinas to start a family. The couple’s two children both attend the University of South Carolina.