Lice don’t take summer off, according to Ryan Nelson, owners of Lice Clinics of America® – Southwest, Florida. In fact, summer months often spur an uptake in cases of head lice when children spend an extended amount of time together with sleepovers, camps, and family vacations.
“Summer vacations when kids are sleeping together, or staying with other families, are opportunities for the spread of head lice,” Ryan said. “Here are a few things you can do to decrease the odds that your child won’t bring lice home from summer sleepovers and vacations.”
- First and foremost, get a professional head check before and after vacations or camps. Make sure that your child doesn’t already have head lice before you leave. Many children have lice without knowing it. It can take up to two weeks before symptoms like itching start to occur. Check again when you get home.
- Use a lice prevention product like Lice Clinics of America’s Lice Preventer Kit. It’s a non-toxic, pediatrician-recommended liquid gel in a no-mess dispenser that makes application fast and easy. You apply it at shower time, and it works as a kind of lice repellant for up to six weeks.
- Make sure your children have their own hair care tools and accessories like combs, brushes, clips and anything else they use on their hair. Sharing items that contain strands of hair is one way that lice can spread.
- If children will be swimming, they shouldn’t share towels at the pool or beach. Lice can hold their breath for up to eight hours, so if your child uses a towel that others have used to dry their hair, it could be an opportunity for head lice to climb on board.
- In general, discourage sharing. This can be a difficult lesson for parents to give children. We all want our children to be kind and to share. But in addition to hair care products, towels, pillows, hats, scarves, jackets and any other products where detached strands of hair might be found can be a source of head lice. Because head lice can’t live anywhere but on a human scalp, if they are on hair that falls off someone, they will do whatever they can to return to a human head.
Finally, if your child does come home with head lice, don’t panic or punish yourself. “You and your child didn’t do anything wrong,” Ryan said. “12 million people get head lice each year in the United States alone. It’s like catching a cold.”
Ryan also wants you to know that getting rid of head lice is easier than ever, thanks to Lice Clinics of America’s FDA-cleared solution, the AirAllé® medical device. It uses heated air to dehydrate lice and eggs and has been clinically shown to kill live lice and more than 99 percent of nits in a single treatment that takes about an hour, and the service is guaranteed to be effective.
“If you come in for a head check and we find head lice or nits on your child, we can treat him or her on the spot, and you’ll leave our clinic lice-free, guaranteed,” Ryan said.
Lice Clinics of America – Southwest, Florida is located at 8881 Terrene Ct., Bonita Springs, FL 34135 and is open seven days a week by appointment. Please call 239-747-1648 or visit www.liceclinicssouthwestflorida.com for more information or to schedule an appointment.