Hey parents. Your kids may be out of school for the summer, but know this: LICE don’t go on vacation! It turns out, one in 100 school-age kids have lice at any given time. According to USA Today, school isn’t the only place where lice can become a problem. The critters can pop up at summer camp!
According to one survey, 24 percent of camp directors reported an outbreak last year. One woman mentioned in the article works for a company that specializes in finding and ridding kids of lice. During the summer, she goes from camp to camp, doing lice checks. At one of the camps she visited, on day-one, as 250 new campers arrived, 10% of them stepped off the bus with lice. So some camps are taking action. How? Some camps tell parents to check their kids for lice before they come. Sleep-away camps may turn kids away if they arrive infected.
There’s also a debate over whether schools and camps should follow either a “no nits” or “no live bugs” policy. No-nit policies require that no children with lice eggs – or “nits” - in their hair should be allowed in school or camp. The “no live bugs” policy requires that only kids with actual hatched lice stay away while being treated.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses are on the “no live bugs” side. Amy Garcia is executive director of the National Association of School Nurses. She argues that nits don’t jump from one person to another. However, no matter how you feel, you’ve got to know what to do if your kid gets infected. So here are a few tips:
- If your child has lice: Try an over-the-counter anti-lice shampoo and follow the instructions carefully. If that doesn’t work, your doctor can prescribe something stronger.
- Then: Get a fine-toothed comb and start nit-picking. You should comb for nits every two or three days and keep checking for three weeks, until you’re sure all lice and nits are gone.
- Experts recommend washing the sheets and pillowcases from the infected person’s bed in hot water. Anything that can’t be washed should be sealed in a plastic bag for 14 days. Vacuum areas that come into direct contact with the child’s head – such as sofa backs and cushions and car seats.