Back-to-school season often brings with it a spike in head lice. Contrary to popular belief, lice are not contagious and do not fly or jump, so it makes sense that, when kids are in close contact with one another, cases of head lice increase.
The most common ways of spreading head lice include head-to-head contact or sharing items that frequently come into contact with our hair. Below are five common ways head lice are spread in schools, and signs that your child may be at risk. Fret not, however, for all are easily avoided.
If you think your child may have head lice, give us a call and schedule an appointment for them to get a head check! Lice can be very tricky to spot, but our trained professionals are among the most-trusted in Birmingham, Hoover, Trussville, and the surrounding areas, meaning you’re in good hands.
1. They shared a comb or brush with someone
Eeek! This one is a big no-no. Kids love to share things, and girls are especially prone to sharing combs or brushes throughout the school day. There is very little (read: no) risk to simply being in a classroom with someone who has head lice, but if that person combs their hair and then hands the comb to their classmate next to them, well… that’s exactly how head lice is spread.
2. They shared a helmet or hat
This one is for the boys (though girls are certainly not exempt!). Whether it’s sharing a helmet because your child left his at home or in the locker room, or borrowing a cap to keep the sun out of his (or her) eyes at practice, sharing head gear runs a huge risk of also sharing lice.
3. They take naps at school or daycare
Though less risky, when kids take naps at school or daycare, they often lay on nap pads on the floor. This can put them in close contact with one another, and head-to-head contact puts everyone at the greatest risk of spreading lice.
4. They share a locker
Kids use their lockers to store just about anything and everything these days. From hats, scarves, and gloves, to jackets and gym clothes, there are a lot of vehicles for head lice to be spread around if your child is sharing a locker.
5. They use a towel at school
This one doesn’t apply to everyone, but if your child is on swim team or showering after gym or practice, towels can certainly be a vehicle for head lice. This risk can easily be avoided, however, by making sure your child always has their own towel, never shares it, and always uses a clean one.