After months of lockdown and self-isolation, parents are beginning to return to work. It’s part of a plan to get the economy moving again. With the unofficial start of summer behind us, families are heading to the beach, hosting backyard barbecues, and slowly returning to pre-pandemic fun. Children will soon resume some normal recreational activities, like summer sports and camp. As life gets back to normal, the same may be true for lice infestations.
One silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic is fewer lice infestations. So, while everyday life has been anxiety-ridden, there haven’t been many worries about catching lice. Itchy heads have been kept to a minimum because children aren’t in schools. That’s one of the top places for lice to spread.
So, while parents are working from home while simultaneously homeschooling their kids, they do not have to worry about checking for nits and super lice.
Children have had a difficult for months because of the coronavirus—learning to adjust to distance learning, not being able to social in-person, and having limited exposure to leisure activities.
But after months of staying at home, kids around the country are preparing to return to organized sports and head back to summer camp. That likely includes sharing hats, helmets, headphones, brushes, and other personal items—and parents can expect lice to return. Sitting close together to play video games or look at images on a cell phone can be enough to spread lice and nits.
The easiest and most common way for it to spread is by head-to-head contact.
An estimated 6 – 12 million lice infestation cases occur in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The tiny, itch-causing nits are the scourge of households with young children.
It takes 4 to 6 weeks for signs and symptoms of lice to show up. It’s important to remember that one of the easiest ways to fight lice is to prevent it from occurring. Lice eggs can seemingly appear out of nowhere and to anyone.
The typical peak time for lice to show up is in August and September when children return to school after summer vacation. But since kids have been apart for months and will soon start to socialize once again, that peak can hit earlier this year.
As your children head out to play sports and attend summer camp, here are some lice prevention tips to help keep your family free from lice.
Don’t Wash Your Child’s Hair Every Day
Lice thrive in clean hair. Giving them a clean mane to call home is inviting trouble. Get in the habit of washing hair every other day. Substitute a dry shampoo for a regular one if needed.
Wear a Ponytail or Put Hair Up to Prevent Lice
Styling hair in a ponytail, braid, or up in a bun makes it more difficult for lice to spread. It also has the added benefit of keeping hair off the face and shoulders. Wearing hair up can stop lice from crawling onto an individual hair strand.
Not Sharing is Caring
It may be contrary to the traditional childhood lessons you teach your kids, but when it comes to lice prevention, not sharing is caring. In the specific instances of hats, headsets, earbuds, batting helmets, and bike helmets, giving your child his/her own equipment and teaching them not to share is the responsible thing to do during lice season.
As we come out of one crisis, you don’t want to see a different kind of crisis pop up in your home. You can take steps now to protect your family and prevent head lice from marching into your home. If you already suspect a lice infestation, you’ll want to have the number of a professional lice removal service handy. Make an appointment today at the Lice Troopers clinic near you by calling 800-403-5423.
Not comfortable leaving your house yet? Check out our in-house lice removal services.