Health & Medicine

Just a heads-up: How searching for Halloween costume can give you lice

Revelers march during the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in New York on Oct. 31, 2016. A recent report suggests searching for a costume could leave you with head lice.
Revelers march during the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in New York on Oct. 31, 2016. A recent report suggests searching for a costume could leave you with head lice. Associated Press file

As Halloween approaches, people all over will be looking for that perfect costume. The search could leave you scratching your head – in more ways than one.

Take caution when trying on wigs, hats and other headgear. According to a report from WTOL-TV, you could end up with head lice.

“We have a lot of people going into stores right now, trying on masks, trying on costumes and trying on wigs. And a lot of people don’t give much thought into the fact that several people could’ve tried it on before them,” Cherie Sexton, a pediatric nurse practitioner in Ohio, told the Toledo-based television station.

Cases of head lice often jump around this time of the year. While some may attribute the increase to schools being in session, WTOL’s report says Halloween shopping is a major cause.

To avoid lice, seal costumes or head wear in a plastic bag for two days, because any lice attached should die in no more than 48 hours. You can also put anything dryer safe on high heat for 45 minutes, or wear a plastic or rubber cap to shield your hair and scalp from whatever you’re wearing on your head.

For additional information on head lice, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

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