Nurse Warns About Head Lice Potentially Lurking in Halloween Costumes

Parents should be aware of the risk of creepy crawlers invading their child’s scalp this Halloween season.

Pediatric nurse practitioner Cherie Sexton says that health officials see an increase in head lice cases during this time of year. Part of the increase is due to school being back in session, but Halloween costumes also play a role in head lice transmission. Sexton said children tend to try on several costumes and masks at party stores, and one person with head lice can spread the annoying bugs to others who try on the costume.

Sexton recommended being selective when trying on costumes, and wear a swim cap when trying on wigs and masks to create a head lice barrier. Once a costume is purchased, place it in a sealed bag for 48 hours, or if the costume material can be placed in the dryer, do so for 45 minutes on high heat to kill the lice.

Head lice infestations can last for up to a week, so if you become aware of a head lice outbreak in your neighborhood, or at your child’s school, make sure to check your child for lice for seven days. Over-the-counter treatment is usually effective in getting rid of head lice.

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