Direct head to head contact with a person who is infested with lice is the most common way people get head lice. Because children are much more at risk, sometimes it is hard to understand how an adult could contract head lice. Here are some common ways that adults pass lice onto others.
Public Transportation. Without even thinking many people hop on buses, subways, trams or trains every day in this country. All of these forms of transportation move hundreds of thousands of people from one location to another. Where there are large groups of people, there are lice. Fabric lined seats are a common place for lice or nits, lice eggs, to hide. An infected person who rests their head on the seat back could leave a louse or two behind. Easily, nits can be knocked off of a scalp and fall into the fabric lining just waiting for the next head of hair to pick it up. Although not nearly as common as direct head to head contact, people can catch lice from fabric lined seating of any kind. Airplanes are also another example of this. Airplane rides are especially long at times and would give a louse plenty of time to make its way onto the seat back. Be cautious as you travel, and check your scalp often to ensure you aren’t picking up any unwanted hitchhikers.
Busy, Crowded Areas. As people bustle through crowded malls, airports, busy holiday shops, work hallways, amusement parks, movie theatres, school functions, sporting events, locker rooms, church meetings, or anywhere else that people gather in large numbers risks for lice can increase. These places can put people in scenarios where direct contact is unavoidable, even if for a short time. Although much more uncommon, it is possible for lice or eggs to be brushed off of someone and infect another person. Movie theater seats, pews, or public sitting areas are all places that fabric or leather lined furniture could be harboring lice or nits.
Gyms or the Locker Room. While we definitely advocate keeping a healthy exercise regime, a word of caution. Be careful not to share sports equipment. This is a common place for lice to be transmitted because many people leave things around like workout clothes, towels or headgear. Keep track of your own belongings and don’t share a locker.
Hair Salons or Barber Shop. Even if most professional hair stylists and barbers are good about sanitizing their equipment, it is inevitable that once in awhile things are overlooked. Make sure you choose a place you trust to get your haircut and styled. Ask them about their disinfection procedures.
At Home with your Children. The risk is always highest for parents with children at home. School-age children have a significantly higher chance of contracting lice than adults. They bring it home without even knowing they have caught it. Sometimes it can take weeks for the symptoms to present themselves. Thoroughly checking your child’s head often is the most sure- fire way to make sure your family is protected against lice.