Do you have a child heading off to college soon? Or are you a college student yourself, about to move into your dorm? Well, chances are, in between registering for classes and buying textbooks and dorm room furnishings, you haven’t thought about how to protect yourself against head lice. Head lice in college, you ask?
As we’ve mentioned before, head lice do not discriminate! Students who live in dorms are in relatively close proximity to other people all the time, and the potential for sharing items is very high. These are all things head lice love! Don’t start worrying too much, though. Here are a few tips to help protect against head lice in college:
- Keep clothing and laundry separate between roommates. This is a great way to stop lice from spreading via clothing. Although head lice do not live very long off the human head, there is still a chance for them to spread. Every roommate should have a separate closet, if possible, and a separate laundry hamper.
- Avoid sharing anything that touches the head. This includes hats, scarves, hoodies, pillows, headphones, hair accessories, and anything else that comes in contact with your head. Also, avoid direct head-to-head contact as much as possible, as this is the most common way head lice are spread. Taking a roomie selfie? Watch out for head-to-head contact, it’s harder than you think!
- Take extra care at the gym. The gym is a place where a lot of people are sharing the same facility, so the chances of spreading head lice, while slim, are still present. Simply bring your own towel as much as possible and keep your items secured in a locker.
In the chance that you or your roommate discover head lice, there are a few things you should do right away:
- Don’t panic. Head lice infestations are very treatable and as long as you take the precautions listed above, you will not spread the head lice.
- You and your roommate should both get treatment. No matter who actually discovers the infestation, it is our recommendation that all roommates get treatment or at least a professional check for head lice. We recommend the same for families, or anyone living in the same space.
- Let your other floormates and classmates know. Although there are many who still stigmatize head lice as only affecting certain people or people with certain habits, it is important to know that head lice do not discriminate in any way – anyone can get them! This is why it’s so important to spread the word. If you would prefer to do so anonymously, we offer Lice Alerts, a free and anonymous way to alert people who may have been exposed.
College should be an amazing experience full of learning, fun, and friendship. Don’t let head lice get in the way! If you or someone you know needs treatment or a check for head lice, stop by your local Pediatric Hair Solutions clinic. We specialize in fast, efficient, and non-toxic lice treatment that you can count on.