Sleepovers, slumber parties, pajama parties. No matter what you call them, your child will probably ask for one (or dozens) before they get to high school. Even though they make long nights for parents, sleepovers are actually quite beneficial for kids. They get to try new experiences, build independence and strengthen friendships.
What if you’re all for slumber parties but are concerned about more practical things, say, head lice? This can be an understandable concern, especially during periods of school infestations. But, is it worth taking away your child’s sleepovers?
Given the close contact that takes place at slumber parties – hair braiding, pillow fights, selfies – lice can spread in this environment. Prohibiting sleepovers may not be necessary, though. There are steps you and your child can take to stay lice free.
The best way to prevent a lice infestation is to be proactive. Before your child goes to their sleepover, use a lice repellent like this one from My Hair Helpers. It has a pleasant peppermint scent, which humans love but lice hate!
Also, when your child returns home, use a nit comb to comb through their wet, conditioned hair. Wipe the comb on a paper towel and look for lice. If nothing comes off, this is a good sign that your child is lice free. However, to be certain, we recommend combing through your child’s hair a couple of days later.
Avoid Sharing Grooming Items
Before your child heads to their sleepover, remind them not to share grooming items. It’s common for girls to do each other’s hair during sleepovers, so send your daughter with her own hairbrush, hair ties, etc. If possible, send your child with their own pillow and sleeping bag as well.
Do Laundry after the Party
If a louse does happen to crawl onto your child’s pillow or blanket, you can prevent an infestation by washing the laundry. Lice are killed when exposed to heat for five minutes, so wash all laundry on a hot setting. However, if you don’t get around to doing laundry, it will probably be OK. Lice die within 48 hours without a human host.
Schedule a Lice Screening
If you’re concerned your child came home with head lice, schedule a professional head lice check. Wet combing is a great way to check for lice, but these tiny parasites can be difficult to see with an untrained eye.
My Hair Helpers offers head lice screenings in our salon or in the comfort of your home. When you use our head lice treatment services, you also get a lifetime of free lice checks! So, the next time your child attends a sleepover, bring them into us! You’ll never have to feel vulnerable to lice again.
While there is an increased risk of spreading head lice at a sleepover, you can protect your child by sending them with their own hair accessories and teaching them the importance of avoiding head-to-head contact. If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to My Hair Helpers. We’ll be happy to ease your fears!