The REAL Threat this Halloween...

The REAL Threat this Halloween...

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Written by: Jen Johnson

It seems like every time I scroll through Facebook lately, I see someone posting pictures of their kids (and sometimes adults) trying on Halloween masks, wigs, and costumes in store aisles. Every time I see one of those pictures, I mentally make a note like “that’s the third person this week in that Panda head”, and it thoroughly creeps me out. Why? Head lice.

Doctors see a jump in head lice this time of year for that exact reason-trying on costumes. It was just a few years ago that my five-year-old had a lice scare this time of year. We were actually doing her hair for a Halloween party when I was CONVINCED the tiny specks I saw were lice. After a ridiculously extensive cleaning of her and the house (I seriously threw away toothbrushes and a carpet), we found out that she had been throwing sand at school, which landed perfectly on her head. Yes, hand slap to the forehead for me. But I was so happy it wasn’t lice!

Health officials have a few tips to make sure the Halloween horror doesn’t include head lice. Before wearing your costume or wig, putting it into a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours will kill any lice, which die within 24-48 hours. Putting any dryer-friendly costumes in the dryer on high heat for 45 minutes will also get rid of the critters. Experts add that wearing a swim cap to cover your hair will create another barrier between you and any potential lice.

Just talking about this topic makes me itchy. Out of paranoia, I’m going to throw a load of laundry in on the hottest cycle I can find. And maybe it’s just me, but I’d stay away from that Panda head.

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Jen Johnson co-hosts The Show with Jen and Truta on KC102.1 in Kansas City weekday mornings from 6-10 am. She lives in Overland Park with her husband and two daughters (ages 9 and 7). Random facts about Jen: she was an extra in the movie Derailed (with Jennifer Aniston), she lived in Alaska for a summer, she was a traffic reporter for NBC in Chicago, and she tore her ACL playing basketball in college. She’s passionate about fund-raising and participating in Walk MS (multiple sclerosis), Cure SMA’s (spinal muscular atrophy) Walk-n-Roll, and raising money for Variety KC. Twitter/Instagram @jenkc1021

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