Are ‘Selfies’ Causing A Spike In Head Lice Among Teens?

CHICAGO (CBS) — The popular trend of teens taking group “selfies” might be leading to another less appealing trend: the spread of head lice.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports a woman who runs two local treatment centers said she’s seen a significant rice in teenagers suffering from lice, and she thinks it’s because teens tend to put their heads together to take pictures of themselves with their friends.

“We probably treat close to 35 to 40 percent more teenage girls,” said Carrie Madej, who owns Nit Free Noggins. “They sit in groups, and all their heads are together, and they’re taking pictures.”

Not just one picture, either.

“I’ve done this myself, where you take a picture, and then ‘Oh wait, here, let me get one.’ ‘Let me get one,’” Madej said.

When that happens, Madej said you can almost see head lice jumping from one girl’s head to another’s.

She said many girls these days have long, thick hair; which offers a tempting target for lice.

Madej advised using a nit comb to check children’s hair for lice on a weekly basis, and keeping long hair pulled back in a ponytail or braid when they go to school.

She also said teens should avoid touching their heads together when taking selfies.

“Have a little space around you when you take pictures,” she said.

More from Regine Schlesinger
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