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Summer camp is an American tradition that dates back to over a century ago. It remains popular till this day, with camps for every interest, ranging from sports to arts and crafts to coding. In fact, one article shared that summer camp was in high demand last summer following the height of the pandemic. 

Fortunately, summer camps across the country have improved in several ways. For example, more camps are hiring mental health professionals who will be on staff and able to address concerns like eating issues and panic attacks. Summer camps are also going back to the basics, offering traditional games and activities like campfires and Capture the Flag. 

But even with these improvements, there are some challenges that remain for summer camps, and this includes head lice infestations. 

Are Head Lice Common at Summer Camp? 

Head lice infestations are extremely common at summer camp. According to the American Camp Association, one of the most common calls to the crisis hotline each year is from camps with questions about head lice. Furthermore, a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics found that head lice outbreaks in camps place a huge burden on kids and staff. 

Unlike schools that have mostly done away with no-nit policies, summer camps are different. Many have no-nit policies in place that automatically send children home if they have lice. This is frustrating for everyone involved – the parents who paid for camp and the child who now has to sit at home. 

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your child from a head lice infestation so that they can enjoy their time at summer camp – and you can feel confident that they’re not bringing head lice home! 

Lice Prevention Tips for Summer Camp 

To combat head lice, you need to be proactive. Your child should be checked for lice before going to camp and when they return home, especially if they’re at a sleep-away camp for several days or weeks. 

Before summer camp: 

Before your child starts camp, check them for head lice. This ensures that they are not going to camp with lice and spreading them to others. Then, follow these prevention tips to keep your child lice-free. They include tying back the hair, applying a mint spray repellent and discouraging head-to-head contact. 

During summer camp: 

If your child is attending camp during the day only, check them once a week for signs of head lice. Lice can be white, brown or dark gray. They’re most likely to hang out on the back of the neck or behind the ears. Nits are round or oval specks found near the scalp. 

As long as your child doesn’t have any signs of head lice, continue to pull back their hair and use appropriate lice prevention products, such as lice repellent spray and mint shampoo and conditioner. These products deter lice from your child’s head. 

After summer camp: 

When camp is officially over, give your child a thorough head lice check. Now is your time to catch any lice or nits, as this will stop them from reproducing. If you’re not comfortable checking your child for lice, schedule an appointment at a head lice salon like My Hair Helpers. Your child will receive a full lice check (and treatment, if needed) before the school year starts. 

My Hair Helpers Works with Summer Camps! 

Summer camp is an exciting time for children and parents alike. But, you shouldn’t have to fear head lice as part of the summer camp experience. By following the prevention tips above and being diligent with lice checks, you can stay ahead of this problem and prevent a full-blown infestation. 

My Hair Helpers helps kids stay lice free throughout the year, and this includes during the summer! We offer salon and mobile head lice prevention and treatment services, as well as summer camp screenings. Our goal is to keep all kids lice free so that they can enjoy their summers in the capacity they want. To learn more about our services, contact our head lice experts today.