The spread of head lice can turn the fun and adventure of summer camp into a nightmare…fast. Summer camp can be an ‘all you can eat buffet’ for head lice, where they tend to spread more quickly because of group activities and shared sleeping quarters.
Add to that the growing problem of lice developing resistance to the most common over the counter and prescription treatments available, and you could have a recipe for disaster in a summer camp setting.
To help your child avoid bringing lice to, or from, summer camp, follow these helpful tips:
- Have your child checked for lice before camp. This not only helps prevent the spread of lice to other campers, but it can also save your child missing out on first day activities, or worse, being sent home if the camp has a no nit policy.
- Ask if your child’s camp has a head lice policy. Many residential camps have a lice policy that includes being checked by professionals before arriving at camp. Pediatric Hair Solutions provides a certificate after a lice screening certifying the camper is lice and nit free. Other camps hire professional technicians to perform checks on intake day. This is another reason to have your child checked before camp starts.
- Educate your child about head lice prevention. Avoiding head to head contact (including selfies!) is the best way to prevent the spread of head lice. Scientific research shows 97% of cases are spread by kids touching heads. It’s very rare to get it from the environment because lice cannot live long off of the human head for very long.
Using a lice prevention spray every morning is also helpful. Lice do not like the smell of mint, rosemary or tea tree. We developed a propriety Mint Prevention Spray that repels lice and helps keep campers lice free.
- Get your child checked for lice after camp if your child’s camp does not perform head checks or does not have a head lice policy. Getting checked by professionals when your child returns from can prevent the spread of lice throughout your family and catch the case early when it’s easier to treat.
Whether it’s before or after camp, or any other time of the year that your child encounters a cases of head lice, make sure to do your homework on treatment options available. Lice have developed resistance to the chemicals in the most common over the counter treatments sold in stores.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says the ideal treatment for lice should be safe, free of harmful chemicals and easy to use. A physical eradication (versus attacking bugs with chemicals) is the most effective approach because lice cannot become resistant to this method. The protocol at Pediatric Hair Solutions includes a non-toxic solution that suffocates all live bugs and a heated air device that dehydrates eggs.
About the author:
Sheila Fassler, RN, BSN, worked as an Intensive Care Unit nurse and a volunteer school nurse at her children’s elementary school in Charlotte. She founded and owns Pediatric Hair Solutions, only licensed health care facility dedicated exclusively to the treatment of head lice, located in South Charlotte, Lake Norman and 5 other locations in the Carolinas. 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.
Pediatric Hair Solutions
6923 Shannon Willow Road
Charlotte, NC 28226