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Halloween costumes could give you head lice, doctors warn

The Independent logo The Independent 13/10/2017 Sarah Young

© Provided by Independent Print Limited Healthcare professionals are warning that people could get an unexpected scare when shopping for their Halloween costumes this year.

According to WTOL, doctors have reported an increase in head lice at this time of year and surprisingly, it’s not just because it’s back to school season.

Instead, experts say that the biggest cause is in fact Halloween costume shopping as all those masks and tangled wigs stand a pretty good chance of being infected with lice.

“We have a lot of people going into stores right now, trying on masks, trying on costumes, and trying on wigs,” said Paediatric Nurse Practitioner Cherie Sexton told.

“A lot of people don’t give much thought into the fact that several people could’ve tried it on before them.”

Easily transported from one person to another, Sexton adds that the rsk of infestation for people who are unlucky enough to come into contact with something carrying lice can last for up to seven days.

So, what can you do to make sure your costume is creepy crawly free?

To avoid the horror of head lice, Sexton recommends that people put purchased items into a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours to kill lice. Alternatively, if the costume material is dryer-friendly it can be put on a high heat for 45 minutes. 

If you want to take extra precautions, it’s also advised to create a barrier between you and potential lice by wearing a swim cap to cover your hair when sporting a wig.

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