It’s that time of year when you pack up your kids and ship them off to summer camp. They’ll spend their days swimming, playing games and sitting around the campfire. You may have thought about the chance of them getting sick or injured while they’re away. You probably haven’t thought much about preventing head lice, though.
Unfortunately, head lice at summer camp is frequent concern. According to the American Camp Association, one of the most common calls to their crisis hotline each year is from camps with questions about head lice. And a recent study from the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital found that head lice was a significant burden that both campers and their counselors faced. Many camps have a no-nit policy, meaning your child will be sent home if they are found to have lice. Here are some tips to help prevent head lice for your camper this summer.
Talk to your child about head lice. Teach them how to identify head lice symptoms and remind them to avoid any direct head-to-head contact before they leave for camp.
Use preventative products. There are many non-toxic products available that help prevent head lice. Fresh Heads carries sprays, shampoos and conditioners that contain products like essential oils that help repel head lice. Pack these products along with sunscreen and other personal care items so your camper remembers to use them daily.
Hair matters. For boys, keeping hair short is best. For girls, keeping hair tied back in a braid or bun can help in preventing head lice from spreading from head to head.
Head checks. No one wants to be the one responsible for an outbreak, so it’s important to give your camper a thorough head check before sending them to camp. Some camps will also perform a head check on site as campers arrive. You will want to do another check when your child returns home to make sure he or she isn’t bringing head lice home with them.
Even when you do all that you can to try to prevent head lice, it can still happen to the best of us. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the camp’s head lice policy before sending your child. Be sure that your camper knows that head lice is nothing to be ashamed of and that anyone can get it.
If your camper does come home with head lice, the quickest solutions is the FDA-cleared AirAllé treatment available at Fresh Heads. For more information about head lice prevention and head lice treatment, visit our Facts and FAQ page.