Head Lice Outbreaks At Summer Camp

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Summer Camp Statistics

It’s almost time for summer camp and your children are so excited! Summer camp is a great way to make life-long friends and try new activities. It’s a wonderful way to gain some independence because mom and dad aren’t there. With more than 12,000 operating camps in the U.S., summer camp is extremely popular for children. 7,000 of those are overnight camps and 5,000 are day camps. According to acacamps.org, summer camp is an $18 billion industry and each year more than 14 million children and adults attend camp in the U.S. Camps employ more than 1.5 million camp staff to work in various camp positions. 50% of camps report having community service or good deed programs incorporated into their programs, which is a great way to humble children and expose them to service. Some of these activities include community clean-ups, food drives, recycling programs and volunteering with senior citizens and hospital patients. It’s safe to say that all kinds of children go to summer camp and unfortunately, any place that is filled with children is a place where head lice may be present. There’s also some great academic programs at many summer camps. 49% of camps report some relationship to schools or school curricula. One out of every five camps partners directly with schools as part of their academic programs during the school year. New partnerships with school systems are emerging as a way to help children retain learning over the summer.

Head Lice At Summer Camp

None of us want our children coming home from camp with head lice — that’s the last thing we want to deal with. But we would also hate for them to bring lice to camp and spread it to other kids. That’s why we love to opportunity to work with summer camps by screening and treating children on the very first day of summer camp. That way, there definitely won’t be an outbreak because every child is checked and appropriately treated before camp even begins. The lice can’t just appear on the head without it being spread from someone else. If nobody has it, then it cannot spread and there will not be an outbreak. At the least, it might be a good idea to bring your child to our clinic before camp to get their head checked and encourage their friends to do the same. Let’s try to avoid lice from even going to the camp at all. Lice spread through head-to-head contact but if nobody has lice in their hair, then there’s no way for them to spread.

Informed And Prepared

As a parent, the best thing you can do is be prepared and informed about head lice. What is the camp’s policy and process about head lice outbreaks? That would be a good piece of information to know in case it happens to your child. Does the onsite nurse know how to identify lice? It would be a good idea to know exactly what would happen if there were a lice outbreak at your child’s camp. You might want to just send your child with a lice shampoo and tell them to use it if they get lice, but unfortunately, store-bought lice shampoos don’t work against super lice, which are in almost all U.S. states.

We want you to stay excited about summer camp, we just encourage you to take some steps toward preparation in case of a head lice process. Have a good summer!

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