Could Trying on Halloween Costumes Cause the Spread of Head Lice?

October 12, 2017, 4:27 pm EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (TIM RENAUD, WTAT-TV) — If your head is itching, it may not be because you’re thinking too hard – head lice is a common occurrence this time of year.

A recent report by the Huffington Post claims trying on Halloween costumes could be the cause of that annoying, head-itching bug as people try on masks, wigs and hats at pop-up costume shops and retail stores across the nation.

But how likely are you to pick up a case of head lice when trying to find the perfect costume? – Not very – says the co-owner of Mount Pleasant’s Lice Beware, Emily Linville.

“There is absolutely no evidence out there to support the claim that you can get lice from a Halloween costume or wig,” she said.

Linville is a certified Shepard lice technician and says lice is transferred exclusively through head-to-head contact – so trying on your next costume wouldn’t be much of a risk.

“People should shop for costumes and enjoy Halloween as usual. The spike in head lice cases that usually occurs in late September to early October actually has everything to do with children going back to school.”

You should continue to check your child’s head frequently, especially throughout the school year. Thoroughly comb through the hair and check around the base of the neck and behind the ears.

If your child does happen to contract head lice, don’t panic. You should take immediate action to remove the bugs – and if you are unsure what to do, call Lice Beware for treatment. For more information, please click here.

For those who are still concerned, there are some preventative measures you can follow when it comes to protecting against the threat of lice when picking out a costume:

– Place your purchased costume in a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours to kill any lice potential.
– If dryer friendly, throw items in dryer for 45 minutes before wearing.
– Wear a swim or wig cap under your mask or wig when trying one on.