Head Lice - Protocol at camp

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    Our camp is merely a week long. The second day, we found 3 kids with lice! (how did they grow that fast?) One camper was obviously the carrier, she was super infested. Unfortunately she was super uncooperative, too, going to activities when she was not supposed to, not being present for treatments... oh it was frustrating esp. the time factor.

    What do you do for isolation? How extensive? What do you keep on hand for the possibility of such a situation?

    What was decided was, we would treat the campers, we would make them wear hats when they went to activities til they were absolutely clear. Their clothing, bedding (including hats) would be dried in a hot drier every day til everyone was clear (we still had one girl who was not clear when she went home)

    Along with several other situations, the lice thing was probably the most frustrating. ARGH.
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 21 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I remember when I was a girl scout in the 90s, any kid who was found with it was immediately sent home no matter what...and I would think especially so if that girl wasn't even following your rules!
    Liddle Noodnik likes this.
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    That would be MY rule... call the parents, and home as soon as possible. I work in a school setting, and that is the rule. Once they have been treated, and all the nits removed, they may return.
    Liddle Noodnik likes this.
  6. 1
    Thanks guys, unfortunately our camp director is a public school principal and believe it or not his school doesn't send kids home! Therefore WE didn't Nor were we allowed to isolate them but rather treat them, and make them wear hats when they went to activities til they were absolutely clear. Their clothing and bedding (including hats) would be dried in a hot drier every day til everyone was clear (we still had one girl who was not clear when she went home). Again this was a 1 week camp but it shouldn't have mattered, they should've been sent home.

    Next year tho we are going to insist on head checks before they get on the bus.
    kcmylorn likes this.
  7. 0
    Isn't there some kind of contractual admisssion agreement that parents must pre-sign that would specify the requirement that children can't be a health threat to others in the camp community? The requirement would either be discharge home OR strict compliance to the camp's treatment protocol. I guess if your policy isn't that specific or isn't endorsed by mgt, then you do have a problem.

    All I know is that if my kids were to come home with an infestation after a short camp stay, I'd be contacting the camp director (or others) about it!
  8. 0
    I don't have anything to offer as far as the camp situation specifically...but I do know a remedy for lice that nearly always clears the nasty buggers the first time. I have no idea if you could use it or not, but wanted to throw it out there.

    Get a jar of regular mayo, slather it on their head saturating their hair and scalp. Wait about five hours (a disposable shower cap works well to minimize the mess), then comb out like you would after using Rid. Something in the fat of the mayo breaks down the chitin of the adult lice and loosens the nits from the hair shaft. Use dish soap to wash the hair with before shampooing to get the mayo out.

    It works great, and since there are no chemicals, it can be repeated as soon and as often as needed until no more lice are left.
  9. 0
    Quote from amoLucia
    Isn't there some kind of contractual admisssion agreement that parents must pre-sign that would specify the requirement that children can't be a health threat to others in the camp community?
    You'd be surprised how sketchy the permission slip is, it just gives permission for us to treat w/ standing orders and for the ER to do emergency care.

    Quote from mama_d
    I don't have anything to offer as far as the camp situation specifically...but I do know a remedy for lice that nearly always clears the nasty buggers the first time. I have no idea if you could use it or not, but wanted to throw it out there.

    Get a jar of regular mayo, slather it on their head saturating their hair and scalp. Wait about five hours (a disposable shower cap works well to minimize the mess), then comb out like you would after using Rid. Something in the fat of the mayo breaks down the chitin of the adult lice and loosens the nits from the hair shaft. Use dish soap to wash the hair with before shampooing to get the mayo out.

    It works great, and since there are no chemicals, it can be repeated as soon and as often as needed until no more lice are left.
    I heard that a number of times at camp. I'd have to be careful w/ egg allergies but it would be interesting to try.
  10. 2
    The mayo treatment sounds pretty nasty, I would imagine that after several hours it would get pretty sloppy and stinky! Our camp required all campers to undergo a Cetaphil treatment a week before camp. Parents were asked to take a bottle of Cetaphil (the facial cleanser) and drench every bit of scalp and hair with this stuff, then let it sit overnight (8 hrs required). It smells ok and didn't exactly dry but it did get stiff. It washed out in the shower with very little effort. The idea is, it coats any lice and smothers them, since they can go without oxygen for a while, but not 8 hours. Then if they do end up w lice at the check upon arrival, the lice are just the remaining nits that just hatched and one more treatment would do them in before they have their own nits.
    NCmcMan and Liddle Noodnik like this.
  11. 0
    We use olefcia. A prescription lice treatment on the kids we identify as having lice. We then treat the entire bunk with olive oil and a shower cap overnight. Then we repeat the perscription in one week and the olive oil in three days. We are a seven week long camp though. In a week long camp the kids just have to go.
  12. 0
    Quote from big al lpn
    We use olefcia. A prescription lice treatment on the kids we identify as having lice. We then treat the entire bunk with olive oil and a shower cap overnight. Then we repeat the perscription in one week and the olive oil in three days. We are a seven week long camp though. In a week long camp the kids just have to go.
    do you get the script from the camp doctor or from the kids' own doctors?

    I like this idea of treating the whole cabin! gah I am itching just thinking about it!


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