Family Trip Coming Up? Beware of Head Lice!

Planning a family trip in the upcoming summer months? It’s the perfect time to get away when the sun is shining, kids are out of school and the beach is calling your name. What you don’t want to do is bring home more than fun, family memories. Head lice can be a problem when traveling at home or abroad. Here are some things to think about when it comes to keeping your family safe from catching head lice on vacation.


Catch that flight, not head lice!

Did you know that The Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that in the year 2017 about 1.73 million people flew commercially each day? That’s quite a lot of people crammed together sharing airplane seat backs and standing uncomfortably close in long lines through security. As super lice, lice showing resistances to over the counter head lice treatments, are making their way across all 50 states in the US, the problem of head lice is becoming more rampant than ever. So, whether you are arriving by airplane, train, public bus, car or boat remember that traveling always puts your family at risk for catching head lice. When someone infected with lice spends several hours in a seat, lice nits or live adult lice can find their way onto the seat back and end up in the lining of the fabric. Very little is done to sanitize these seats in public transportation. Lice can live away from a human host for 1-2 days. They will be looking for a new source of food and warmth as soon as possible.


The Family that Plays Together, Stays Together

Family vacations are such an important part of growing up. Some of the best childhood memories often involve camping, traveling or exploring new things together. Who doesn’t love squeezing in all together in a little tent, sharing a cabin with friends, or traveling in an RV seeing the sights? Just make sure to remember, living in close-knit and smaller areas it is much more common for head lice to be transferred from person to person. Even in resort rooms or motel rooms, families are often much more tightly placed than normal and therefore more at risk for infection. Just as you would not want to carry home bed bugs from a hotel room, head lice can be a concern. Before you leave on your trip, comb through your children’s hair to look for traces of head lice. Lice Clinics of America, St. Charles offer professional lice combs and expert advice on how to do this properly.  Make sure that children are still not sharing pillows, blankets or towels. Keep things clean and watch for any symptoms of head lice such as itching, painful irritations or open sores.


Beach Bound or Amusement Park Fanatic?

Whether your family is longing for some time to soak up the sun or hopping on your favorite roller coaster, vacation is not the time to be lackadaisical about head lice. When large crowds of people gather together risks of catching head lice become greater. Long lines, pushing through crowded areas, trying on hats or clothing in gifts shops, sitting in padded seats shared by thousands, grabbing towels that have been left around a public swim area, these are all scenarios where head lice may be present. Just because you are on vacation, doesn’t mean head lice will give you a break! Make sure to talk to your family about not sharing towels, hats or even headphones. Head lice often affect girls more than boys. Keep their long hair pulled up and out of the way of head lice grasping onto it. Have kids wear comfortable hats from home that will not only protect them from the sun but possibly also head lice. Keeping these things in mind could save you a world of trouble when you arrive home. Happy travels and may you come home head lice free!


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