Doctors see large spike in head lice around Halloween

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Posted at 2:38 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 14:38:00-04

TOLEDO (WTOL) - It’s that time of year again with Halloween right around the corner.

Some doctors say the biggest spooks can be found on the top of your head, if you aren’t careful.

Dr Rabia Akbar, lead Physician at Mercy Village Square Pediatrics in Perrysburg, said seeing a spike in head lice this time of year isn’t uncommon.

“It’s the time of the year when Halloween rolls around and when the weather gets cold, as well,” said Dr. Akbar.

This has made some people wonder “why Halloween?”

Doctors say trying on hats, wigs and masks without knowing who had them on before you can be a major risk. But Halloween stores are not the only concern.

“Also, in schools, now children won’t be going outside as much they’re going to be sitting close together maybe sharing their head gear like their hats,” said Dr. Akbar.

So how do you know if it’s head lice? Dr. Akbar said scratching and itching of the scalp are the two biggest symptoms.

Dr. Akbar gave WTOL 11 some tips to avoid head lice

  • Don’t share anything that goes on your head OR your face
  • when you go to a Halloween store, ask for staff to bring you a piece from the back room instead of what’s already on the floor 
  • she also says when you bring the part of the costume home, throw it in the dryer on high for 30 minutes—but ONLY if it’s a non-flammable piece.

“Or you can put them in a garbage bag, an air tight bag, and put it aside for two to three days,” says Dr. Akbar.

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