It’s that time of year. If summer vacation hasn’t yet started for you, it will soon. School-age kids are ready to run free and, of course, many parents are trying to figure out how they’re going to make it until the fall! No matter your feelings on summer vacation, you might be relieved that your children are out of the classroom and into the fresh air. Maybe you’re also thinking that head lice will be something you don’t have to think about for three months. Unfortunately, head lice don’t take breaks for the summer!
As you prepare for the summer months and the activities which ensue, here are a few things to keep in mind to avoid lice outbreaks:
- Be cautious at the swimming pool. Head lice are extremely resilient to water and can survive being submerged in water for hours. Swimming or bathing will not kill head lice, especially the tough nits. Also, the locker room is a place that requires extra diligence in avoiding these pesky insects. Bring your own towels whenever possible!
- Sleepovers are prime suspects. We all want our children to have fun with their friends and enjoy sleepovers. But, it is important to stress to both your children and their friends how head lice are spread through head to head contact. Have your child bring their own pillow, and make sure they have everything they need, especially combs or brushes, and pajamas. And no hair braiding!
- Beware of hats and helmets. If your child is in a summer t-ball, baseball, or softball league, then hat and helmet-sharing could be a potential problem. Be prepared with a preventative treatment such as our Preventive Lice Treatment Spray, since there is no easy way to avoid sharing helmets in many athletic scenarios. If your child is an avid bike rider, then be sure to invest in a quality bike helmet that is solely theirs.
- Prepare for group trips and summer camp. Whether it’s a science summer camp, soccer camp, or church retreat, it is a good idea to be prepared for the potential of getting lice. Anywhere where children sleep in close proximity to one another (bunk beds, camping) there is the potential to “share” head lice. Teach your children about keeping their heads and hair to themselves and not to share pillows, blankets, hair accessories or hats. Summer trips and camps are often the highlight of a child’s summer, and nobody wants it to be tainted by head lice.
Summer vacation is an exciting time for both parents and for kids. Help make the summer easier for you as a parent by being prepared for the potential of head lice. If you find yourself needing lice treatment or a consultation, find your nearest Pediatric Hair Solutions clinic and let our healthcare professionals take care of the situation. And don’t forget to enjoy the summer.