Many parents think that once summer hits, they’re home free in the battle to keep their kids free of infestations. Since the kids aren’t in school to pass the bugs back and forth throughout the classroom, summer seems like it would provide a little break from the vigilance parents try to practice the rest of the year. That perspective makes sense, however decades of experience in treating infestations shows it isn’t usually the case. Nothing creates an uptick in the need for professional removal services like a period of extended vacation such as we usually enjoy during the winter holidays or over summer break. Why is this? Perhaps even more than at other times of the year, kids and families are in especially close quarters—think tents, cabins at summer camp, summer rental homes. You’re traveling with friends and extended family, there is the mixing of towels and pillows, there’s head to head contact during sports and selfies, and the list goes on. A child can go to summer camp, pick up an infestation from another camper and then return home to spread the bugs throughout your household. Not how any parent wants to spend summer vacation. What can you do? To keep lice away this summer, the first step is to be aware of the fact that lice pass as easily during the summer months as they do during the school year. That means we need to keep up our prevention efforts. As always, we recommend that parents encourage children to avoid sharing personal belongings when staying at summer camp or sleeping over at a friend’s house. Make sure that they have all of the items they will need so they will be less tempted to share with others. Even with the best of intentions, it can be hard to keep your child lice free when he or she is away at camp. Thus the main goal is to keep the infestation from increasing and infesting other members of your family. Before your child reenters the home following time away, check the hair and scalp thoroughly for signs of lice and nits. Take all personal belongings from the car directly to the washing machine and wash in 130 degree water and then follow up with an hour in a hot dryer. Wash brushes, combs and hair accessories thoroughly, even isolating them in plastic bags for two weeks. If you suspect that your child may have been exposed to lice, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for a professional screening and, if necessary, a treatment. Taking care of the issue promptly minimizes stress and discomfort, keeps the infestation from getting out of hand, and ensures the rest of the family stays lice free. This summer, don’t let the bugs get you down. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, house call, school or camp consultation, please visit our website at: or call 1-800-403-LICE. Our Miami treatment center locations are here to serve you: Bay Harbor Lice Treatment Center, 1005 Kane Concourse, Suite 212, Bay Harbor Island, FL 33154 Coral Gables Lice Treatment Clinic, 2100 Ponce De Leon Blvd, Coral Gables, FL 33154 Hollywood Treatment Center, 5735 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, FL 33021