JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Summer camps bring on the sun and fun... and unfortunately, annoying parasites like lice and ticks.
When your kids head off to camp, they should come home with new friends and great memories- not an infection or sunburn that'll bring on the summer blues.
Jennifer Hickman is a family nurse practitioner at Minute Clinic. According to Hickman, there are four things your child will likely pick up at camp: tick bites, poison ivy, swimmer's ear and the common cold.
For ticks and poison ivy, Hickman says prevention starts with your clothing.
"If you're going to be outdoors, in wooded areas, doing any hiking, you want to make sure you're wearing long pants, long socks, appropriate shoes, no open footwear," said Hickman.
Bugs will be out in full force so look for insect repellent with at least 30% deet.
3 Things to Check after Camp
Parents need to do their part to to protect their child's health by checking their little ones for the following after camp:
Critter Check- Check from head to toe for any pests. Look for lice in the scalp, any bugs moving around and always do a tick check, said Hickman.
Itchy Ears- Bacteria can grow in their ear canal if water is lodged in their ear canal after swimming. If there's any type of drainage that's coming from the ear or if their ear is itchy or painful, that could be a sign of swimmer's ear. Hickman recommends a visit to the doctor because an ear infection will typically require anti-biotic drops.
Rashes and Irritated Skin- Check for rashes or irritated skin that looks red, raised, and causing an extreme itch. "It sometimes can even blister and cause swelling," said Hickman.
Proper hygiene and frequent hand washing can reduce the risk of viruses or germs raining out any summer fun. Pack hand sanitizer as well since busy public restrooms may not always have soap.