Every parent can fall into deep cleaning mode when they discover one of their children has head lice. We understand that you can go a little crazy wanting to make sure your home is free of the pesky critters! Just make certain that you do not overlook a few places head lice or nits might be lying in wait to find their next host. Here are a few common places that often get forgotten and sometimes can lead to reinfection:
#1 – Backpacks or Sports Bags
Duffle bags, backpacks or any bag where items are stuffed into a tight place could be hiding a louse or two. Especially if your child participates in a sporting event, or practice where several children are present. Generally, children have a tendency to throw their belongings into a heaping pile on the floor along with everyone else’s. This can lead to head lice infections. Take out all items from their bags and disinfect them to be sure.
#2 – School Lockers
Small, tight spaces are an ideal place for head lice or nits to wind up on your child’s items. If you kid shares a locker at school, that could be the reason they are catching head lice. Make sure all items in the locker are cleared out, deep cleaned and free from head lice or nits.
#3 – Towels
We are sure the first thing you did when you found out your child had lice was to thoroughly wash their pillow and bedding. But, did you stop to think about the bathroom towel they are wiping their hair on every time they shower? Maybe they have been swimming recently and using a swimming towel as well. Whatever the case may be, towels are the perfect hiding place for head lice. Wash them in hot water and dry on a high setting to kill all lice and nits and prevent anyone from getting reinfected.
#4 – Stuffed Animals
A recent study proves what every parent already knows. When children are in a high anxiety situation, like perhaps dealing with a case of head lice, they tend to find solace in snuggling with a favorite stuffed animal. Make sure all stuffed toys they come into contact with are thoroughly cleaned. This is usually accomplished by placing items in a high setting dryer for 25 minutes. Others opt to close them up in a trash bag for a week to make sure all head lice or nits are dead. A louse can survive off of a host head for up to 48 hours. Anytime after that, they will not be capable of reinfecting anyone.
#5 – Hoodies and Jackets
Sometimes hoodies and jackets are overlooked by parents because we aren’t thinking about the possibility that head lice or nits have rubbed off onto clothing. Especially if they are stuffed into backpacks or duffel bags, these items can have traces of head lice and need to be deep cleaned. If you cannot wash the item, dry clean it or wipe it down with bleach water.
#6 – Headphone and Earbuds
Headphones are a common problem among teens and preteens. They often share their pair with anyone they choose and don’t seem to think twice about the consequences. Head lice like to hang out at the crown of the head and behind the ears. Because of this, headphones can be problematic and harbor head lice or nits that are passed along to the next user. Wipe them down often to ensure they stay clean and head lice free. Talk to your kids about not sharing headphones and keeping their pair safe.