Ah, summer camp. Campfires, s’mores, swimming, and…head lice?
“Head lice don’t take the summer off,” said Lisa Liss, manager of Lice Clinics of America® locations at Wilshire & Fairfax, Encino in the San Fernando Valley, and Santa Clarita. “In fact, summer camps are ‘custom made’ to spread head lice, with kids in close quarters, sleeping and playing together for extended periods of time. No parent wants to get the call that their camper has head lice,” Liss said. Here are a few things you can do to decrease the odds that your child gets lice at camp:
- Get a professional head check before camp. Make sure your child doesn’t already have head lice before camp starts. Many children have lice without knowing it. It can take a few weeks before symptoms such as itching begin. Check again when your child gets home. A professional check is best because lice can be difficult to accurately diagnose. Our clinic offers head checks for $25 and the screening fee is waived if lice are found and your child is treated at the clinic. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
- Know your facts. Lice spread primarily through head-to-head contact. They don’t fly or jump. Head lice can’t live anywhere but on a human scalp (hence the name ‘head’ lice), so encourage your children to avoid head-to-head and hair-to-hair contact, including hugs and selfies.
- Use lice prevention products such as Lice Clinics of America’s preventive spray, shampoo and conditioner. They are non-toxic, easy to apply, and serve as a lice repellent for your child. They can be used daily for an extra measure of protection.
- Make sure your children use only their own combs, brushes, clips, and other hair implements. While it is rare that lice spread through shared personal items, it can happen.
- Lice don’t die in water. They can survive under water for up to eight hours, so children should only use their own towels to dry themselves after swimming or showering.
Finally, if your child does come home with head lice, don’t panic or punish yourself. “You and your child didn’t do anything wrong,” Liss said. “Twelve million children under the age of 14 get head lice each year in the United States alone. It’s no different than catching a cold—your child just got lice from someone else. We are also seeing a lot of teens with head lice – think of all those ‘heads together’ selfies they love taking!”
Getting rid of head lice is easier than ever, thanks to Lice Clinics of America’s patented, FDA-cleared, AirAllé® medical device. AirAllé® uses heated air to dehydrate lice and eggs and has been clinically proven to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of eggs (nits) in a single treatment. The service takes about an hour and is guaranteed to be effective.
“If you come in for a head check, and we find head lice or nits on your child, we can usually treat right away so you’ll leave our clinic lice-free in an hour or so” Liss said. “Our clinics are open seven days a week by appointment. We can usually get you in the same day or the next.” For appointments call 844-727-9792. For more information visit www.LiceClinicsLosAngeles.com.