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Halloween May Mess Up Texas’ Plans to Control Head Lice


Texas schools now have to notify parents within five days if a classmate has head lice, and the hope is the new rules will help stop the spread.  And then Halloween happens!

There’s a huge spike in head lice cases this time of year, and wigs and masks may be to blame.  Eeww.

This is another reason to dislike the creepy clown costumes.  Those wigs and masks can have lice lurking inside them, and trying them on at the store can invite them right onto your own scalp.  Gross!  And it’s not just the creepy clown costumes, but it’s fun to blame them for most of what’s wrong with the world.  Princess outfits and super hero costumes can spread lice just as easily as weird clowns.

Halloween stores have rows and rows of wigs and masks for sale right now, and it’s impossible to know how many heads they’ve been on before yours.  That increases the risk of head lice cases, and makes October a prime month for itchy heads.

There is something we can do about this though.  To sanitize the wig or mask after buying it, the experts say we can put it in a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours before wearing it. Any head lice will die within 24-48 hours.  If it’s a shirt or cape and it’s dryer friendly, that can be tossed in for 45 minutes on high heat and that will kill the lice.

If nurses in schools in East Texas notice that your child has lice, you’ll get a letter within 48 hours of the discovery.  And parents of the rest of the class will get the notice within five days, because of that new law that just went into effect September 1.

Let’s hope the only head lice we see this Halloween are actual head lice costumes.  Now there’s a demented costume idea to rival the creepy clown.  Happy Halloween!

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