Ah, summer vacation! Kids can’t wait to go to camp. But along with bringing home stories about great outdoor adventures and new friends, what should you do if they also arrive home with itchy bug bites, sunburn or head lice?
“Most parents do a good job sending their kids off to camp equipped with sunscreen, bug repellent and other precautions. But that doesn’t mean kids always use them or that they’re always going to prevent issues. In the case of head lice, any head-to-head contact – such as taking a selfie with a friend – could be enough to cause an infestation,” cautions pharmacist and author Sherry Torkos, BSc, Phm, RPh. “In fact, head lice represent the second most common health issue infecting school-age children in the U.S., next to the common cold.”
Torkos offers natural solutions to four of the most common post-summer camp ailments.
Sunburns: “If your child comes home with a mild sunburn and a full tube of sunscreen, grab the Aloe Vera. It is very soothing and helps promote skin healing. Cold packs can also provide relief. Make sure your child drinks lots of water. More serious burns and blistering need to be seen by a doctor.”
Head lice: “A lot of parents are concerned about putting pesticides on their children’s heads. And resistance is a big issue, especially now that pyrethroid-resistant ‘super lice” are in almost every state. Clinical research has found that neem oil, which is readily available over-the-counter as Lice-Nil, is 100 percent effective for killing lice and nits. Even super lice! Just one 20-minute application and you’re done.” http://www.licenil.com/
Itchy skin caused by bug bites, poison ivy or poison oak: “Tea tree oil works well for treating the itch and sting of insect bites. Make your own after-bug paste with a teaspoon of baking soda, ½ teaspoon of water and a few drops of tea tree oil. For poison ivy/oak, oatmeal can soothe skin itching. To make your own bath soak, grind whole oats in a coffee grinder to release their oils. Put a half cup of the ground oats into the bath water. Add a couple drops of lavender.”
Ticks. “Be sure to check your child’s scalp for ticks. It’s smart to already have a tick removal kit on hand so that any that you find can be removed immediately. Read the instructions because improper removal of a tick increases your child’s risk of infection. Some kits have containers for sending in the ticks to be tested for diseases such as Lyme. Knowing whether or not a tick carried an infectious disease could provide you with extra peace of mind.”
You may not be able to monitor every minute of your kids’ summer vacation, but you can be prepared to take swift action should their summer fun be interrupted by bugs or skin issues.
Biography: Sherry Torkos
Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, and health enthusiast with a passion for prevention. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time, she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara region of Ontario. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease. Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care.
As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. Sherry is frequently interviewed on health matters by radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad.
Sherry has authored 18 books and booklets, including The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Saving Women’s Hearts, and The Glycemic Index Made Simple.
For more information visit, www.sherrytorkos.com