Back-to-school selfies may spread super lice, expert says

Any activity that brings kids’ heads together — like selfies — raises the risk of spreading lice


Parents may want to add super lice remedies to the back-to-school shopping list.

2013 study in the Journal of Medical Entomology found that in North America, most head lice has evolved into a new, more powerful strain that is immune to traditional lice treatments, hence the name “super lice.”

» RELATED: Back-to-school sales starting early as first day approaches

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» Find more resources at our Dayton Back to School Guide 2018

Canada had been experiencing an alarming rise in cases, and there have been multiple outbreaks across the U.S. in recent years.

Because super lice can be difficult to get rid of, prevention is key, and that’s where those popular selfies come into play.

Any activity that brings kids’ heads within close contact with one another, or involves sharing combs, hats, etc. will raise the risk of contracting lice. Dawn Mucci, founder of Lice Squad, told Global News in 2016 that she is seeing a growing number of lice cases among teens, likely due to the selfie craze.

Despite the scary name, Lice Clinics of America cautions that combing and nitpicking can still be effective treatments. The clinics also provide a lice remover kit for super lice, and AirAllé, an FDA-cleared lice device for professional lice treatments.

Still, the best way to prevent infestation is to keep your head away from other heads.

Parents should consult a medical professional on the most effective, safe treatments for super lice.


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