GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb 25, 2014) – Just the mention of head lice is enough to make anyone’s skin crawl.
The professionals that treat the problem are raising concerns about something almost every teenager does, snapping selfies.
Turns out it might not just be the picture you’re sharing with your friends.
“That head to head contact is a big issue,” Rebecca Curtis of Remedy Lice Boutique said.
She says she usually treats younger children but believes selfies are contributing to the increase in head lice i’n middle and high school aged kids.
Lice are parasitic insects that can be found on people’s heads, and bodies. Human lice survive by feeding on human blood.
“It’s gross to know bugs are living on your head or your kid’s head,” Curtis said.
Though there’s no scientific study to back it up, it does serve as a warning.
The CDC estimates six to 12 million lice infestations occur each year in the US among children three to 11-years-old.
“It’s not like your friends wanted to give you lice, they probably don’t even know they have lice or they got it taken care of,” Curtis said.
If you have head lice you may feel a tickling feeling of something moving in your hair, itching caused by an allergic reaction to the bites or difficulty sleeping because head lice are most active in the dark.
Curtis recommends skipping the group selfies, not sharing hats or brushes, and not going to bed with wet hair.