Although it seems as if most insects disappear in the winter, the trust is that a lot of them just behave differently to survive the cold. Some hibernate, some migrate to locations with more ideal temperatures, and others just take shelter and remain less active when the temperatures are low. But generally speaking, insects can and do survive the winter. Including lice and their nits.
So yes, you can indeed still catch head lice in the winter.
Not only can you still catch it, but there can also be an INCREASE in the spreading of head lice during this season! Hats, hoods, ear muffs and even scarves make the transferring of these critters even easier. You don’t even have to wear someone else’s hat for it to spread – just the act of children handing up their coats or storing their hats and scarves near each other at school can spread lice. All of this helps make winter one of the most active seasons for head lice (the other highly active season being summer).
Other methods of spreading hair lice include sharing other items like hair accessories, hairbrushes and combs, clothing, as well as bedding, pillows, towels and stuffed animals. Simply having your head in close proximity to someone’s infested hair can also spread lice. These are things that can be encountered all year-long, particularly during sleepover parties and indoor playtime with friends and relatives.
But there are things you can do to reduce the risk of infestation during the cold season.
- Teach your kids not to share hats, scarves, jackets and other wearable items with others.
- Hair tools such as combs and brushes, and hair accessories like headbands, barrettes, bows, etc., are also not to be shared.
- Wash and dry clothing and bedding that may have been exposed at hot temperatures.
- Inspect your children’s hair frequently for nits (eggs), nymphs (young lice) and lice.
If you do find lice on someone in your household, their hair will need to be treated. You can shampoo treatments from a drugstore, and then comb through the hair to remove any remaining nits. However, be aware that many of them contain chemical insecticides and need to be handled with care. Also note that over-the-counter treatments don’t always work completely. Consult with a doctor or a head lice removal service to get professional treatment.
As you can see, the flu is not the only thing you have an increased risk of catching during the winter! Don’t think that a head lice infestation isn’t something that can happen to you or your children – it can. But it can be avoided by taking the proper precautions and education your children on what to do (and what not to do) to reduce their risks.
Thank you to The Pink Comb for this wonderful information. The Pink Combs are Atlanta Head Lice Removal specialists who are a mobile head lice removal service. For more information, view their website at thepinkcombs.com