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Sports and Lice Transmission

girl's sports team huddled with arms around shoulders

Updated on July 19, 2020

While sports can be a wonderful activity for kids, it does come with the downside of increasing the risk of lice transmission.

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.

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.

There are many children out there playing sports and there are many head lice out there, as well. Each louse lays 6 to 10 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.

If your athlete is unlucky enough to get lice, LiceDoctors can help out. Give us a call in the Schaumburg and Elgin area at 312-765-7266 and a lice professional will eradicate the lice today.