If you have a child in summer camp, chances are you dread getting a phone call from the camp telling you that your child has head lice. Many parents calls us to ask for immediate help because their child will not be allowed back in camp until the lice are gone. Ironically, in many cases, the source of the child’s lice infestation is the very camp that won’t let the child back in. At LiceDoctors, we also get calls for camp directors asking us to screen the campers or to come to the camp to treat a group of children who have passed lice throughout the bunk.
Yesterday, a camp director called our client in Baltimore to say that her daughter, who was at overnight camp, had been found to have head lice. His plan: treat her with a chemical lice treatment and keep her semi-quarantined until the child was nit-free. The mom was savvy enough about lice to know that this plan was a bad one. Her family had used LiceDoctors 2 years before after trying and failing to eradicate head lice with chemical lice shampoos. She wanted to know what we suggested that she do.
This is a case where you have to be an advocate for your child. First, you don’t want your child to have potentially toxic chemicals applied to her head. Second, very often those pesticides do not work to kill the lice as these bugs have mutated and are resistant to chemicals. Third, unless someone sits with the child and picks out the nits (eggs), the child is going to remain with an active case. This scenario could potentially ruin a child’s (and parent’s) summer.
We suggested the following:
- Tell the director that she did not want the chemicals put on her daughter’s head.
- Refer the director to LiceDoctors Education Center page which has lots of information about head lice and treatments.
- We offered to speak to the director and explain to him why the chemical treatments were not advisable and what the camp nurse should do to help the child.
- LiceDoctors or another professional service has a presence reasonably near the camp and can come and treat the child if the nurse needs a hand.
Children often count the days til their beloved summer camp season starts. The last thing you want is for your child to spend the summer in the infirmary with head lice that won’t go away. In the aforementioned case, the director called us and we walked the nurse through what she had to do to get rid of head lice. The treatment was successful and everyone was happy. Summer lice at camp? Give LiceDoctors a call and we can help you out!