Halloween Warning: Head lice may be waiting in store costumes


Mike Licht/Flickr.com

If your family is anything like mine, you probably enjoy going to try on costumes and cool masks when the Halloween season arrives. But, experts are saying you may want to be careful when allowing your kids to try on masks, wigs and hats. Apparently, head lice are big problem this time of the year.

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You've probably never even thought about it (I know I haven't.) But it makes perfect sense when you consider that there's the potential for hundreds of people to have tried on the same costumes that your kids are trying on. This is especially true if you live in a well-populated area.

Since lice spread so easily, if even one lice-infested person tries on the head gear, some of the nasty bugs could be left behind and make their way onto other customer's heads.

To make matters worse, the risk of infestation can last up to a week after making contact with the carrier, since lice eggs can take that long to hatch.

Though lice are not a hygiene issue and they don't cause disease or illness, they're an itchy annoyance that can be hard to get rid of once an infestation begins, so most people do their best to avoid contacting them.

When it comes to Halloween costumes, consider not trying on masks and wigs until you purchase them and have the chance to rid them of any potential critters.

Once you get the costumes home, you can wash them in hot water, put them in a very hot dryer and/or seal them in an airtight bag for a couple of hours to kill off the lice.

Topics: advice  health  holiday