Lice infestations are most common among young children as a result of the types of activity they participate in. Recently, lice expert Mary McQuillan stated the number of head lice cases are increasing among teenagers due to a growing photo fad, the selfie. I cannot help but question this theory.
Are Selfies to Blame for the Rise of Head Lice Infestations?
Head lice are spread through head to head or hair to hair contact. Selfies typically involve the pressing of heads against one another to ensure that subjects are all captured in a self-taken photograph. It is possible that parasites on an infected host’s head can crawl to an unaffected head in close proximity. While this scenario could be a potential cause of further head lice infestation, the root of the problem may lie elsewhere.
What Happens if Head Lice are Left Untreated?
6 to 12 million cases of head lice are reported per year. As we know, head lice are not choosy, any host’s hair can accommodate these creepy crawlers. These bugs will set up camp on any person that can provide food and shelter, but young kids have a greater exposure to this epidemic.
We all wish nap time was still a required activity, but the consequences that may arise from shared mats and close contact can leave us thinking otherwise. Elementary school is all fun and games, until someone catches lice.
Although most high school activities lack the mixing of personal items and shared space, the extracurricular selfie may make up for this.
Parents must take precaution. Checking and rechecking your children for head lice should become a weekly occurrence. When and if a live bug or nit is discovered, action should be taken immediately. A head lice treatment plan should be purchased and the parents of your child’s friends must be notified.
Preventative measures may also be taken. Instead of waiting for your child to contract head lice, why not stop it from happening to begin with? There are natural harm-free products such as ClearLice that can repel bugs from choosing your child as their host.
The selfie in itself is not harmful, but you may be spreading more than smiles when an untreated head lice infested host joins in on the photo. Trends like selfies will come and go, but head lice are here to stay. Take precaution and act immediately if head lice are discovered on you child’s head.
Selfies should promote “likes” not lice!