As parents start planning to send their children to camp this summer, Barrie Desmond of Lice Clinics of America – Hawaii, has several tips for how parents can avoid welcoming head lice into their homes when their children return from camp.
“Camps are a peak time for head lice because campers are together 24 hours a day eating, drinking, playing, and sleeping in close quarters,” said Barrie Desmond, owner of Lice Clinics of America – Hawaii. “We see an uptick every summer. The old saying that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is very true in this case.”
“Head lice spread almost entirely through head-to-head contact or, more precisely, through hair-to-hair contact,” Barrie said. “Summer camp creates lots of opportunities for hair-to-hair contact: sleeping with heads close together, hugging, huddling over phones to look at photos, crowding together for selfies—all the things that kids do naturally when in groups.”
What can you do to make sure your child doesn’t bring lice home from camp? Here are a few tips from Barrie:
1. Encourage children to avoid head to head contact with other kids. If they have had head lice in the past, they’ll know what having head lice is like and want to prevent it from happening again.
2. Keep girls’ hair pulled back in braids or buns. Short or tightly bound hair reduces the risk of hair-to-hair contact.
3. Discourage kids from sharing combs or brushes.
4. Schedule a head lice screening for your child by a head-lice professional before and after camp to make sure your child isn’t bringing head lice to camp in the first place. Lice can be difficult to detect by the untrained eye. After camp, a head lice screening is important because early detection can make treatment faster and easier and prevent the spread of head lice at home.
5. Use a preventive product before and during camp. If your child is going to camp longer than one week, make sure there’s enough product to last.
6. Check with your child’s camp to see if they have a lice policy. Some check all campers upon arrival while others send kids home when they are found to have head lice. Make sure you know what you’re getting into!
If your child does come home with head lice, don’t worry. There are treatments available that are fast and easy. Lice Clinics of America, the world’s largest network of professional lice treatment centers, offers a breakthrough treatment called the AirAllé® device, using warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs in about an hour. The AirAllé device is guaranteed to be effective and clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits). Lice Clinics of America also offers pesticide-free home treatment products.
There are more than 300 Lice Clinics of America treatment centers in over 30 countries, and the AirAllé device has successfully treated over 650,000 people with a success rate better than 99 percent. To learn more or to find a clinic near you, visit www.liceclinicsofamerica.com.