Summer camp is a fantastic way for your child to develop their skills, both socially and athletically, and to give them the best memories possible! These memories are not made without your child interacting with other children and unfortunately running the risk of catching head lice. Head lice is very coming among children attending pre-school, elementary school, and summer camp. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with that phone call saying that your child has head lice. Don’t worry though, we have you covered! Here we have the top 5 tips on how to prevent lice at summer camp but first let’s understand what head lice is.
What Are Lice?
Lice are small parasites that live in human hair, making their home close to the scalp. They are typically between 2-3 mm in length and survive by feeding off the scalp tissue. Their size can make them difficult to identify and may be mistaken for dandruff. Head lice lay eggs close to base of the hair strands and multiply at a rapid rate. Lice do not spread disease or pose a health risk to your child – but they are uncomfortable! If one is infected, they will experience an itching sensation on their heads. Infestations spread by direct contact – lice cannot jump or fly, only crawl.
5 Top Tips for Summer Camp – How to Prevent Lice.
Head lice can only survive up to two days after they fall off the head of their host as they cannot feed, and their eggs can only survive if they stay close to the scalp at a temperature, they are accustomed to. These preventive measures will greatly mitigate the risk of infestation – make sure your children know about them!
- Avoid hair-to-hair contact on the playground and school, or any other activities. Better safe than sorry! Encourage your child (if they have long hair) to keep a braid or have it tied up. This makes it harder for lice to attach themselves to hair.
- Try to avoid sharing clothing, especially ones that are in close proximity to the head such as hats and hair ties. Isolate and machine wash clothes worn immediately – make sure they are separate from other members of your family.
- Do not share hair brushes, combs or towels. Disinfect these items by leaving them in a tub of hot water for between 5 and 10 minutes.
- Do not lie on beds or couches that have been sat on by an infected person. Although the risk of infestation through this is low, its still better to be safe!
- Do not use fumigant sprays on hair – they can be toxic if absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and head lice can be controlled without such a drastic measure. There are preventative sprays that are safe and recommended, especially while attending summer camp.
Be sure to screen your child before sending them off by using a fine comb to carefully search for any lice. If you do locate any, start treatment immediately and do not send your child to camp until the infestations is cleared out. Lice does happen, about 8 million people contract them annually, and it has nothing to do with hygiene. In fact, lice often prefer clean scalps! Should your child be unlucky enough to get them, keep a constant and open line of communication with the summer camp.
Rest assured, we take all the steps possible to protect your child. Our staff are all highly trained and informed and all our camps have up to date lice control policies should there be an infestation at any camp, to ensure the problem is addressed and solved in the shortest time possible. No matter what, your child will love their time away from home and come back having made the best memories possible!