Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Head Lice.

Fall Decorations, pumpkin, gourd, sunflowers, jack-o-lanterns

Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays are approaching; one of them is associated with causing an increase in the incidence of head lice and one is not. Can you guess which is which?

Most people get this one wrong.

Halloween is not generally a source of concern regarding head lice, while Thanksgiving most definitely is! Yes, you read that right. In fact, after 20 years of treating hundreds of thousands of people, we can say unequivocally that we see no real increase in the incidence of lice and nits after Halloween; on the other hand, every year following Thanksgiving we are inundated with calls.

Why is that? What about trying on costumes and wigs at a store? The chances of contracting a case of head lice from a costume or even a wig are low because lice do not want to leave their source of food, blood in the human head, to go to an inanimate object where they will starve if they can not get blood within a few hours. Head lice have been around for hundreds of thousands of years; they are hearty and know how to survive. Head lice are almost always transferred through direct head to head contact which brings us to Thanksgiving.

Overhead view of dinner table with turkey, side dishes, plates, cutlery, wine glasses

Holidays where families gather, such as Thanksgiving do increase the odds of passing along lice infestations. Each year following this holiday we visit many unhappy lice-infested families. The reason for this is simple: families gather for the holiday and if one person brings lice to the party, by the time the holiday is over several people may have it. If an infested person has lice and comes into contact with someone else, the bugs can crawl onto the head of an unsuspecting victim. You can imagine when a family is together for a few days, that there will be multiple opportunities for head lice to spread.

Our advice to all families regarding the upcoming holidays

It is a good idea is to do an extra check on your children's heads both before and after family gatherings. The best way to check is near a window with bright light. Spraying your hair with a lice repellent such as LiceDoctors Peppermint Lice Repellent Spray or with hairspray will give your hair added protection. Be especially vigilant around Thanksgiving. When in doubt, or if you do find lice, give us a call and we will help you.

We hope you have happy and lice-free holidays.