Lice are really no respecter of persons. They don’t care how old a person is, or where they live. They don’t prefer people with dirty or clean hair. Lice will strike whenever they find the opportunity. In the United States it is true that anywhere you travel you are at risk to contract lice. In fact, throughout the world lice can be found in almost every country, city or town.
With that in mind who then is most likely to be affected?
Children are Most at Risk
Small, school age children are at the most risk. They easily pass lice from one head to another at school playgrounds, classroom settings, daycares, or extracurricular activities where many children are together. The easiest way to catch lice is through direct head to head contact. Hence, children are more prone to lice because they don’t fear getting close. Lice are also easily passed through children because they share reading rugs, gym mats, stuffed animals, bean bags, pillows, blankets, towels, jackets or anything else that they use that could be contaminated with lice if recently used by a child who is infected.
What are the Most Common Ways Adults Catch Lice?
The single most common way that adults are affected is through their own children. If you have school aged children 3-11 you are much more likely to have lice yourself. Without knowing a small child is carrying lice it is easy for everyone in a household to become infected. Eggs from the adult lice can be spread quickly through unsuspected items throughout the home. In no time, everyone could have a problem. In fact, symptoms of lice can take several weeks to surface. Eggs need time to hatch and may be on a scalp for awhile before they are detected. Once they have hatched they begin to feed on the scalp, which can then start to cause irritation and itching. That makes it especially difficult to stop the spreading early on. The best way to safeguard your home is by doing frequent head checks to watch for lice eggs, nits, close to the scalp. Check your school age children often to prevent spreading.
Fabric Lined Seating in Public Settings
Adults can also catch lice in many different scenarios away from home. Have you ever stopped to consider how many people have shared that same seat on the public bus? How about the movie theater where someone infected with lice could lounge for hours watching a movie and be completely unaware they are spreading lice eggs, or nits onto the headrest. When the next show starts someone else will sit in the same cushioned seat and the lice eggs, marked with a sticky substance could easily be transferred to them completely unaware of it happening.
Crowded areas have always been a breeding ground for lice. When a lot of people are trying to get to the same place people moving into a crowd bump or maneuver around one another possibly infecting each other with lice. Places such as pools, elevators, malls, amusement parks, concerts, stadiums, locker rooms, and airplanes are all places adults have been known to pick up lice. In other words, no one is immune. Everyone is at risk and needs to be aware of the signs and symptoms of lice as well as the ways it is most likely contracted.
Barbershop or Hair Salon
Generally speaking most hair stylists are professional and take care to properly clean and disinfect their equipment. However, the risk is always there. It only takes once for someone to be careless or forgetful and pass on lice to an unsuspecting customer.