Halloween costumes could increase head lice risk

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) It's Halloween season and that means trying on wigs and masks, but that could also mean an increase head lice cases.

Kids are always looking for scary masks and costumes during Halloween.

But for parents there is something living inside those wigs and masks that can be much scarier.

"Usually the first thing people will see is child scratching their head. If they look closely they may see the small brown or gray looking bugs."

Doctor Jeannine Hatt, a pediatrician at Texoma Medical Center, says although she doesn't see an increase in cases, her practice does.

"It can be passed through other objects so its good for kids to not use other children's brushes, or hats and scarves," said Dr. Jeannine Hatt, MD.

She says the risk of getting head lice from a wig or mask is extremely small.

Especially if the hairpiece has not been worn within 48 hours by someone who is infested with lice.

But parents say its still a concern.

"I was trying to tell him, 'hey, we can go home and clean it but lets not try on all these masks although its fun,'" Ashlee Musick said.

John Porter says he had never thought about lice being transferred through costumes.

Now that he's heard about the risk, he's worried about his 8-year-old sister back at home.

"I'm probably going to text my mom after that because that's disgusting," said John Porter.

If your child does get lice, Dr. Hatt recommends calling your pediatrician as soon as possible to help stop it from spreading.