Winter weather can put your kids at risk of getting lice

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - This may surprise you, but the cold weather can put your kids at risk of contracting lice.

When young kids share things like hats and scarves, lice can spread, but it's also the way young kids store their winter gear in places like daycares and schools that makes the spread of lice easier, according to Dr. Laura Caserta, a pediatrician at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

"In the winter time, people have more things that they need to wear like scarves and hats - especially with children storing things on lockers that's how life can be transmitted. So, in the winter hats, scarves can carry the lice and kids can get it that way," said Dr. Caserta.

Lice cannot survive for a very long time off of a human head they can be on things like hats and scarves and brushes, but they can still be spread through the sharing of those items.

What do you do if you contract lice?

"Lice can be treated by over the counter medication. The most common one would be a promethrin like the Nix that you use. Also, you can get rid of the nits by combing with a very fine tooth comb using some sort of oily tooth comb using some sort of oily substance like conditioner or like baby oil, and then you can get rid of the nits that way."

Nits are lice eggs.

If you get lice, many people wonder, does that mean you are not clean? Not at all.

"You could be the most clean person in the world and still get lice. Actually, I've heard that lice prefer nice clean hair to attach to," added Caserta.

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