Last year, I went to a haunted house attraction for Halloween. Working in the lice business, the part I found scariest was when everyone had to pass through a tight space with fabric that brushed against everyone’s head. Horrified, all I could think was “we will definitely be checking for lice after this!” When it comes to the risk of head lice Halloween costume masks shared among excited hyper kids may be a haunting sight for moms...can you get lice from sharing masks or costumes?
IS IT POSSIBLE TO GET LICE FROM HALLOWEEN COSTUME?
As always, the big lice risks are hugging, selfies, and horseplay - activities were the heads touch. Head lice cannot jump or fly, so they usually stay in the hair, passing directly from person to person. When it comes to catching head lice costume masks and hats that are shared directly between people can potentially transmit lice from one head to another. However, without access to a human scalp, any head lice on an inanimate object will die within about a day, so they don’t survive long in dirty clothing.
TIPS HOW TO PREVENT HALLOWEEN LICE
- Keep your mask to yourself: don’t share items that touch the hair. Give items 36 hours before someone else wears them; that’s long enough for any lice on them to die.
- If you may have been exposed to lice, don’t just check one time! For the first few days the eggs are too undeveloped to see with the naked eye, so keep checking for at least a week.
- Be especially on the look out for signs of lice if your child has gone to a Halloween party or has been in a school Halloween parade. Lice are generally passed from one head to another and young children are the primary candidates.
- Children with long hair are the most likely to pick up lice as the hair is more accessible to the the bugs. These creepy crawlers find the hair and shimmy up to your head to feed and reproduce. Pull hair up into a bun or braid.
- Don’t rely on itching to tell you! Itching usually begins weeks after catching head lice.
If you are worried about lice Halloween costume should be on your radar for this holiday. While vectors are not the primary means of transferring lice, there is always that possibility. If you do spot evidence of lice, call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537. DIY lice treatment is tricky; treat yourself and outsource it!