We know that dealing with a case of head lice is a major cause of stress. Especially, when you are the parent and responsible for getting rid of the problem. Here’s a little head’s up from Lice Clinics of America to you. There are items lingering around your home or in your child’s daily life you may not ever think to check for head lice or nits. A louse can survive for 48 hours after being separated from their human host. This means that if they find a new head of hair to invade during that time they will jump at the chance.
These six things could have lingering lice and need a deep cleaning. Double check to ensure your child is not reinfected!
#1 – Backpacks or Sports Bags
When a child participates in any number of recreational activities, it is common practice for items of all team members or participants to create a heaping pile of belongings on the floor as they get ready for practice. Whether that is hoodies, sweat towels, shoes, duffel bags, hats or any number of items, these piles of potentially head lice-ridden items could be infecting your child’s belongings as well. Make sure duffle bags or backpacks are thoroughly cleaned and any items that could have nits or head lice are heated thoroughly in a dryer or wiped clean with bleach water. Talk to your kid about keeping their belongings separated at practice and away from others items.
#2 – School Lockers
In today’s world of super lice and selfies, head lice are becoming a bigger problem among teens and preteens. If your child has a locker at school, shares a locker with someone or even a locker at home, ensure that all items are properly cleaned and head lice free. Small spaces like lockers are the perfect place for head lice to make their way onto your child’s belongings.
#3 – Towels
It is obvious that you would deep clean pillows, bedding sheets, and comforters when your child has head lice. But, did you think about bathroom towels that they are using to dry their hair with every night? The interwoven fabric of towels is an ideal place for head lice or nits to hide in. If a towel is reused by someone else in the home or the same child over and over, they may be reinfected.
#4 – Stuffed Animals
A recent study showed that when a child is feeling anxiety, one remedy is to reach for Mr. Stuffy. Kids love to sleep with stuffed animals to help them feel security and peace. If you have not gathered up all stuffed animals from your child’s room that they could have possibly infected with head lice, it would be a good idea to place them in a dryer on a high setting for 25 minutes.
#5 – Hoodies and Jackets
Just because an item doesn’t necessarily touch a child’s head, doesn’t mean it is free from head lice or nits. Items such as hoodies or jackets where lice could have fallen onto or brushed up against should also be deep cleaned. If these items cannot be washed, dry clean them or wipe them down with bleach water.
#6 – Headphone and Earbuds
Did you know that head lice are found most commonly around the crown of the head or behind the ears? For this reason, headphones or earbuds that are shared by multiple children, or teens are often an overlooked culprit for passing on head lice or nits. Make sure these items are properly cleaned and talk to your teen about not sharing items with friends.