Head Lice is common in schools, daycares and camps – pretty well anywhere kids (or adults) gather, making head lice prevention even more important. To help make this a lice-free summer for your kids, the following is some advice on what we tell our families.
Remember the 4 key words: 1. Educate 2. Identify 3. Eliminate 4. Prevention
Practice Prevention Methods
- Keeping hair up and away from other people’s heads is the best thing that you can do to avoid getting head lice. Pony Tails, buns, braids or hats!
- Avoid sharing hats, combs, brushes, towels, and other hair items.
- Pay special attention to sharing sport wear and head gear. If you need to share, use a hair bonnet under the helmet.
- Weekly use of a quality Nit Removal comb is recommended, like the LiceSquad Louse Trap Comb. This helps remove any activity early and avoids a life cycle being established. It can be done in the shower by the camper themselves at camp or as soon as they arrive home from camp.
Ask Camp Directors Questions
Catching head lice activity early is key. It helps to avoid spreading it to others in the camp and creating a severe outbreak. Ask your camp director if they provide help and if they are screening campers and staff as they arrive to camp. It is the best method of keeping lice outbreaks to a minimum. Keep in mind that all campers and staff need to be checked and that checking must be done on dry hair and within at least the first week of arriving at camp. Check-A-Head and avoid the spread.
Report, Re-check and Treat
Don’t send your child to camp with lice. It is also important to report it. Others need to be told so the campers in the cabin or at home can be checked. Follow the camp policy on head lice. If your camp treats campers on site, ask if they use pesticide (try to avoid) and make sure follow up is being done. Most head lice treatments are pesticide based. Some children are sensitive to this and may not be good candidates for its use. Speak with professionals about treatment/removal options. There are many natural options available and the best thing a camp could have on hand are high quality lice combs. Treat the camper and then re-check the others in close proximity or in the same cabin. Keep an eye on things for a two week period and always follow up.
Head lice will die within 24 to 48 without a blood meal. It is best to tell your children to keep their sleeping environment to themselves. Sharing pillows, blankets, towels and any head gear may result in lice transmission. There is no need to spray pesticide or to wash pillows and mattresses. Focus on items that have had close head to item proximity such as pillow cases, sheets, hats, brushes, coats, etc. Never spray an insecticide on bedding in cabins as the toxic residue will linger for several days and may cause breathing or other issues for campers.
Remember the most important thing about head lice is to practice prevention and to catch it early so it can be treated in a timely and effective manner. Most camps will experience head lice, but the severity of it can be reduced with 1. Education 2. Identification 3. Elimination 4. Prevention
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About Jennifer Hay
Jennifer Hay is a Lice Squad franchise owner for the York Region/Brampton and surrounding areas. Her clinic is located in Vaughan. She has a background in health care and has worked for the VON and The Canadian Red Cross. She brings a wealth of knowledge of in-home health care solutions and assistance with her to Lice Squad Canada. She is passionate about helping families with pesticide free and chemical free solutions to their head lice issues.