Child Going To Camp? How To Prevent Head Lice And What To Do If They Bring It Home
If your child is going to camp, they will likely be sleeping in close quarters with other children. Because of this, you should do what you can to prevent them from getting head lice. If they do end up getting it, however, you should know how to take care of it properly. Below is some more information about this just in case your child comes home with more than their camping gear.
How to Prevent Head Lice
Talk with your child about not sharing things like their hair brush, comb, hats, scarves, and coats with the other kids. Talk with the camp counselors about keeping the children spaced out to prevent lice from jumping from one bed to the other.
There are some over-the-counter products that you can purchase that may help prevent lice. These things are not regulated by the FDA, but some people have had good luck with them. Look for shampoos that have ingredients like lavender, coconut oil, and tea tree oil. There are also shampoos that are labeled as flea preventive. Ask your child to wash their hair with this shampoo while they are at camp.
Lice may not like the smell of these ingredients, which will cause them to stay away from your child's head.
What to Do If Your Child Gets Head Lice
No matter what you do to prevent head lice, your child may still come home with it. If so, go to the store and purchase lice shampoo. This shampoo is specifically made to kill lice on your child's head.
The lice shampoo will come with a nit comb. This comb has very fine teeth so they can remove the nits in your child hair. You must do this manually, as these nits attach themselves to strands of hair and will not come off while shampooing. Check your child's eyebrows as they could have lice in them also.
After shampooing and while your child's hair is still wet, start out at the top and run the comb through small sections of their hair at a time until you have gone through every strand. You have to remove nits from the comb as you go. Keep a bowl of water next to you to put the nits in.
This will take a lot of time, but the lice will come back if there are any remaining nits. Once you finish, go through their hair a second time to be sure they are all gone. You should keep an eye on your child's head over the next few days just in case you did miss any.
Besides taking care of the lice on your child, you should thoroughly vacuum your home and wash your child's bed linens, pillow cases, and especially everything they took to camp with them in as hot of water as you can.