As parents start planning to send their kids to summer camps, Jackie Huynh of Lice Clinics of America® – South San Francisco, has some tips for how parents can avoid welcoming head lice into their homes when the kids return from camp.
“Camps are a peak time for head lice because kids are together 24 hours a day eating, drinking, playing, and sleeping in close quarters,” said Jackie Huynh, owner of Lice Clinics of America – South San Francisco. “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,” Jackie Huynh 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 Jackie Huynh:
- Encourage children to avoid head to head contact with other kids. If they have had head lice in the past, this will be an easier idea to sell because they’ll know what having head lice is like and want to prevent it from happening again.
- Keep girls’ hair pulled back and boys’ hair short. Short or tightly bound hair reduces the risk of hair-to-hair contact.
- Discourage kids from sharing combs, brushes, jackets, and backpacks. Though rare, lice can spread when a hair shaft they are attached to falls onto a hair accessory or clothing that someone else puts on their own head. This can also happen with hair that falls on pillowcases and sleeping bags.
- Get your child checked by a head lice professional before and after camp. First, 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 check is important because early detection can make treatment faster and easier.
- Use a preventative product before camp. Once you know your child doesn’t have head lice, using a product like Lice Clinics of America’s Lice Preventer Kit can provide protection when used as a kind of lice repellant, and lasts about a week. If your child is going to camp longer than one week, make sure and teach him or her how to apply it again at camp.
- Check with your child’s camp to see if it has a lice policy. Some check all kids 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 that uses an FDA-cleared medical device, using warm air to dehydrate lice and eggs in about an hour. The device, called the AirAllé®, is clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits), and is guaranteed to be effective. In addition to the Lice Preventer Kit, Lice Clinics of America also offers home treatment products from the same team that developed the AirAllé.
There are more than 300 Lice Clinics of America treatment centers in more than 30 countries, and the AirAllé® device has successfully treated close to 950,000 people with a success rate better than 99 percent. To learn more or to book an appointment, please visit https://www.liceclinicsofamerica.com/sfbayarea-southsanfrancisco/.