While sports can be a wonderful activity for kids, it does come with the downside of increasing the risk of lice transmission. If your child is on a sports team currently experiencing a lice outbreak, or if you just want to be cautious so as to keep him or her from getting head lice, this information is for you.
How Long Can Lice Live In A Helmet
Lice are very contagious. They are not particularly discerning; they will go to any head, with any type of hair, at any point in time. Any activity that our children engage in that brings them into close contact with other children increases the risk of their contracting a case of head lice. It is an unfortunate irony of today's world; we want our children to be social and engaged, but when they are, they increase the risk of transmitting and receiving this annoying problem.
Sharing helmets with another team member can put your child at risk, but it is a smaller risk than you probably anticipate. Head lice do not like to leave the human head. It provides the warmth the louse needs to survive in addition to the food supply they also need to not starve to death. So the likelihood of a louse crawling onto a helmet away from their home environment is very low. But if it does, how long can lice live in a helmet? Off of the human head, lice will die within 24 hours. So if a live bug makes its way onto a helmet, the longest it can survive there is only one day.
How To Clean A Helmet After Lice
If your child has head lice and you want to take the extra step to ensure that he or she doesn’t pass it along at tomorrow’s little league baseball game, cleaning the helmet before the game should be considered. If it has been less than 24 hours since they wore the helmet, or if you are just freaked out at the idea of dead lice bugs being in your child’s helmet, here is our best advice on how to clean a helmet after lice.
Many sports require the use of helmets…probably more than you think. There can be head lice in hockey helmets, if your child rides a bike or horses you should consider if there could be head lice in the riding helmet, and if they play baseball you may wonder how to clean baseball helmets from lice. Again, we emphasize that head lice in helmets is not really a big problem because lice don’t like to leave the head to go somewhere that offers them nothing. If you decide to clean the helmet, at LiceDoctors we discourage the use of pesticides, so using a liquid head lice spray lice for helmets, or some form of aerosol lice spray for helmets is discouraged. In fact, we are not even aware if a head lice spray for helmets even exists, but if it does, you may want to reconsider. How long can lice live in a helmet? As mentioned before, head lice cannot survive for more than 24 hours off of the human head. If it has been more than one day since your child, or anyone with head lice, has had contact with the helmet, you will be exposing yourself and your child needlessly to a pesticide that can cause some undesirable side effects.
The best way to clean a helmet if you have discovered lice is actually quite simple. You do not need any special tools or gadgets. All you need for this is a good set of eyes and a well lit area. I am sure you can see where we are going with this. A visual inspection and physical removal of anything you find is the very best way to get rid of any lice that may be in a helmet. Because lice are tiny and can get into the tiniest of cracks and crevices, make sure you are thorough. After an initial inspection of the surface of the helmet, move onto those tiny hiding places. Pull back any folds that may be present. Roll the helmet around so you can view all parts of the helmet from all of the various angles. Take a wet paper towel and simply wipe down the helmet; that will knock away any errant louse that may be inside the helmet.
Head Lice and Sports
many children out there playing sports and there are many head lice out there, as well. Each louse lays six to ten eggs a day and lives for 30 days; this means that before a louse dies it leaves behind up to 200 eggs. Think of the multiplicative implications of these scenarios. When each affected person plays a contact sport, gets into a huddle, or hugs a fellow player, the odds are he or she will transmit some bugs. Around and around it goes and we end up with what we have today: a very commonplace problem. In fact, head lice are so prevalent that they are the second leading cause of absenteeism from school; only the common cold is responsible for more absences.
Since we are not going to sequester our children, we need to be as vigilant as possible when they are active in sports. Parents should regularly check their children in bright light. Be on the look out for head scratching, although not everyone with lice feels itchy. Also, it is best not to share helmets, although inanimate objects are not likely to house head lice; lice are usually transferred directly from head to head.
LiceDoctors Can Help
Once it takes hold, head lice can be difficult to get rid of. Throughout the year we get calls from schools, coaches or a concerned parents with a child on a sports team looking for head checks and subsequent lice treatment for their entire team, if needed. This is actually very smart as it will ensure everyone with lice is treated at the same time and helps to minimize the possibility of a case of lice getting passed around from teammate to teammate. LiceDoctors definitely can help in this situation. An experienced lice technician will check the entire team and provide discreet notification and recommendations to the parent or guardian of a child who is found with head lice. She can even check the entire team’s helmets, too! If your athlete is unlucky enough to get lice and you just want him or her treated, LiceDoctors can help out with this too! Give us a call at 800-224-2537 and a lice professional will eradicate the lice today.