Helpful Information for Camps
Finding head lice on campers can put a damper on summer fun. Here are some tips to enjoy a head lice free camp season.
Example of a Camp Head Lice Policy
Because of the camp setting differs from that of public school it is not always feasible to send campers home and have them return a day or so later after treatment. Pre screenings and a prevention plan are recommended.
Camp policy and prevention plan
Here are some tips to help create a camp policy/prevention plan:
Campers will be screened for head lice upon arriving at camp or provide a pre-screened note from a professional head lice service. Campers found with head lice will either be sent home or if being screened by a service will be treated on site. Preventive steps such as keeping hair up will be encouraged.
- Recommend all campers screened before arriving at camp. This is where professional services can be a great resource as most can provide a note indicating the camper has been checked and cleared for lice.
- Incoming screening: All campers should be screened at the beginning of the camp session.
- Outgoing screening: Some camps provide outgoing screenings to make sure they are sending the campers home lice free. If you complete incoming head checks properly, you should have lice free campers at outgoing checks.
- If staff is screening make sure they understand what head lice does and does not look like.
- If campers are to be sent home for treatment it is important to inform parents of all treatment options.
- Screenings should include children and staff all ethnicities as any human can get head lice.
Camp check protocol:
Camps have different protocol when it comes to screening campers for lice. Here are a couple of options:
- Screen all campers at the arrival of the camp session
- If head lice is found, tape down any evidence of head lice on a paper towel and discretely bring the child into another room. Putting them in a corner or off to the side can be very embarrassing and traumatic for that child.
- Call parents and have them pick up the child (or bring them home) to treat.
- They can contact their local professional and in most cases be lice and nit free in a few hours. Or they can treat at home and bring them back when they are cleared from lice and nits.
- If you have a local professional nearby, you can suggest they get a head check from the professional after they treat to make sure treatment was successful. Many provide a note saying the camper is clear from head lice.
- Comb the child with a lice comb upon returning to ensure there is no evidence of head lice.
- Comb once a week for about 5 minutes to ensure they remain lice free.
- Contact your local professional to come in and perform head checks on all campers and staff.
- Screen all campers at the arrival of the camp session.
- If head lice is found, discretely bring the child into another room. Putting them in a corner or off to the side can be very embarrassing and traumatic for that child.
- Professional companies will treat right on the spot. (Many camps will charge the parent for the cost of the treatment.)
- Treating right away with a professional will ensure the child misses minimal time at camp and many will guarantee their services and also offer a recheck or two.
Head Lice Screening Tips
When checking all campers for head lice, it is a great idea to have a proper plan in place. While everyone should be checked upon arrival, finding someone with lice and putting them off to the side can be embarrassing and traumatic for that child. Here are some tips to help you through the screening process:
- Identify 2-3 staff for every 100 campers to check for head lice.
- Have campers detangle hair before they sit down for their head check.
- Each staff should comb through each camper's head with a high quality lice comb for a thorough and accurate head check. (You need about 10 -12 combs per staff. Once used, let it soak in a strong disinfectant. If lice if found, use that comb to treat the same camper's head and then take it out of rotation.)
- If lice is discovered, tape down any evidence of head lice on a paper towel and discretely bring the child into another room. Putting them in a corner or off to the side can be very embarrassing and traumatic for that child.
Professional head lice services may be a valued resource for you and your camper's family. These companies can help provide proper education to staff and parents. They provide incoming and outgoing head checks and on site treatment; relieving staff of the responsibility of checking and enforcing policies. This also helps reduce the parent's stress of having to treat at home.
The Most Efficient Way to Check for Head Lice:
To properly check for head lice, you must comb with a high quality lice removal comb and wipe on a paper towel or napkin. Looking only with your eyes can easily miss bugs or eggs, especially if it's a new case.
- Make sure the hair is free of tangles. You can comb the hair dry. In cases of really thick and/or curly hair, wetting it may be a bit easier to comb through. You can also use conditioner to soften the hair to make sure the comb pulls all the way through the hair.
- With the lice comb, comb along the scalp and pull straight through the hair ends. After every swipe (or every few swipes), wipe comb clean on a paper towel to see any live lice or eggs. Comb through the whole head in different directions for a few minutes.
- Any evidence of head lice will appear on the paper towel. You can tape the evidence to the paper towel and write the camper's name on it. This is helpful if the parent would like proof.
When Lice is Discovered:
As you already know, parents do not need to bug out!
Some parents cannot imagine anything worse than finding out their child has head lice. They may be looking to you for help. Giving them the right steps on what to do next will certainly calm their fears or having a contract with a professional service that can provide on site treatments allows kids not to be excluded from fun camp activities! This site is here to help!
If you will be sending children home hand the parents an informational card
For many families this may be the first time they deal with having lice and have no idea what to do next. You can send us an
email at email@example.com and we will gladly send you information cards for your parents at no charge. This will go over
everything they need to not bug out. You can also let them know that professional services may be in their area and in many cases
can book an appointment that same day. A printable version is available below.
Recommend all members of the household be checked
If you have a day camp or if campers visit with their families for a weekend before returning for the second session, it is a good idea to recommend that all household members be checked with a lice comb or professionally. You do not want to the child to go home to, or visit with, their family only to return again with head lice.
Refer them to a professional
Professional lice removal specialists have so many benefits besides the service of removal. They can thoroughly check all household members to make sure parents are treating only those affected by lice. Also, in some cases head lice has been misdiagnosed and no treatment is needed at all. Professionals also sell the best lice combs. This is extremely important because having the right comb can save hours of combing especially on long, thick hair. In addition, most lice professionals sell only products free from chemicals that are safe, non-toxic and effective. Most importantly, they have the right information to save parents a lot of time and energy spent on getting rid of lice.
Many parents feel much less stressed after speaking with or visiting a professional.
Quick Lice Facts to Share:
Lice cannot hop, jump or fly and in most cases only transfer from direct head to head contact.
Animal lice and head lice are different. We cannot give lice to our pets and they cannot give it to us.
Lice die off the head within 24 hours.
Not everyone itches, but for those who do, itching can last up to two weeks
Eggs are not contagious
All eggs must be removed