Lice can lurk in old Halloween costumes

Sept. 30, 2011 at 9:41 PM

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Lice can be hidden in Halloween costumes and can spread if costumes are handed down or borrowed, a U.S. full-service clinical salon that removes lice said.

Maria Botham, chief executive officer of Hair Fairies -- salons in several cities dedicated to removing head lice -- said lice could be hidden in reused or shared costumes carrying lice from child to child.

"Kids can bring home more than candy during Halloween," Botham said in a statement. "The lice can lurk in seldom-cleaned or hard-to-clean costumes and spread from children to parents. About 3 percent of school children have lice at any given time, so the odds for coming in contact with lice are higher than many parents realize."

Hair Fairies has in-salon treatment that includes manual removal of lice.

Botham added:

-- Head lice shampoos can be highly toxic for your child and many strains of head lice are immune to the chemicals in over the counter shampoos.

-- Head lice cannot jump or fly.

-- Head lice cannot live on pets.

-- Head lice cannot live and breed in your environment, i.e. couches, carpets, cars, movie theaters or airplanes.

-- Head lice are not signs of unwashed hair; they thrive in clean hair rather than dirty hair.

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