If you still need to get Halloween costumes for your brood, the scariest part of the holiday might be what's waiting at the store. And no, we're not talking about the scary masks — we're referring to the lice that's often found in costumes, hats, and wigs.
With little ones sifting through costume after costume, it's no surprise that there's usually a spike in lice outbreaks in certain parts of the country that most parents wrongly associate with children going back to school. "We have a lot of people going into stores right now, trying on masks, trying on costumes, and trying on wigs. And a lot of people don't give much thought into the fact that several people could've tried it on before them," said pediatric nurse practitioner Cherie Sexton in an interview with WTOL 11.
Although head lice aren't a direct threat to your health, they're at the very least a nuisance that should be avoided at all costs. Experts recommend wearing your own clothes and hats and saying no to sharing garments with others. If you absolutely need to get something new, hold off on trying on your new purchase until you get home. Throw your costume, wig, or hat in the dryer for 45 minutes or put it in a plastic bag for 24-48 hours. That should do the trick when it comes to killing off any potential lice. For an extra layer of protection, try having your little ones wear a swim cap on their heads under their costumes.