It is overwhelming at times to think of everything that needs deep cleaned when you find out someone in your household is dealing with head lice. The first thought we have may be to make sure we remove head lice and nits from that person’s head. Secondly, we often think to deep clean bedding and pillows. However, there are a few other spots that you might want to double check in your home to ensure that head lice are not brought back into the environment.
#1 – Towels
Every family is different when it comes to bathroom towel usage. Some people insist on keeping the same towel for a week and hanging it to dry. Others refuse to reuse a towel even once. The important thing when you are dealing with head lice is ensuring that whatever towel your child uses does not get reused by that child or anyone else.
#2 – School Lockers
Head lice are able to survive off of a human source for up to 48 hours. During this time they will take any chance to reconnect with a host. School lockers, mudroom lockers, or any space your child uses that is small and contained is a great place for head lice to be passed along. Especially if your child shares a locker with another student, make sure all items inside are thoroughly cleaned.
#3 – Duffle Bags and Backpacks
Does your child participate in a sporting event? Do they go to practices with large groups of kids where piles of belongings are piled up from any number of children? All of these scenarios can possibly be where head lice are being transmitted. If your child shoves items into a sports bag or backpack where head lice are able to infect other items – you might have a problem. Clean out all sports equipment and clothing.
#4 – Stuffed Animals
A recent study reiterated what all parents already know. Stuffed animals bring comfort and peace of mind to children who are dealing with stressful situations. What can be more stressful than a case of head lice? Often head lice symptoms can cause sleepless nights for children as they feel crawling sensations on their scalp or painful, irritating bites. Make sure that all stuffed animals they might have snuggled up with are placed into a dryer on a high heat setting for 25 minutes.
#6 – Headphone and Earbuds
High School kids and Jr. High kids are much more likely to catch head lice now than they ever have been. Blame this on the selfie sensation that is sweeping the nation or the new generation of super lice that are just that, super difficult to get rid of. Whatever the case may be, teens are almost always using headphones or earbuds. Head lice are commonly found at the crown of the head and behind the ears. If your teen or preteen is constantly sharing headphones with friends, they may be transferring head lice. Talk to them about keeping their pair all to themselves.