Doctors warn head lice may be lurking in Halloween store costumes

Aris Folley,

Health experts warn that there may be creepy crawlers lurking inside your costume mask this Halloween.

According to WTOL, doctors are seeing an increase in head lice case this time of year -- and it's not just because school is back in session.

The biggest cause is apparently Halloween costume shopping.

RELATED: Super lice in 48 states

“We have a lot of people going into stores right now, trying on masks, trying on costumes, and trying on wigs,” Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Cherie Sexton told WTOL. “A lot of people don’t give much thought into the fact that several people could’ve tried it on before them.”

And for those unlucky enough to come into contact with something carrying lice, Sexton added that their risk of infestation can last for up to seven days.

To avoid the Halloween horror, Sexton recommended people be selective when wearing costumes or wigs, and to put purchased items into a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours to kill lice -- which are known to die within 24-48 hours.

SEE ALSO: Super lice have taken over 25 states and aren't slowing down

She also suggested placing dryer-friendly costume material into a dryer for 45 minutes on high heat to get rid of the scary critters.

Wearing a swim cap to cover your hair when putting on a new costume or wig is also another method Sexton advised to act as a barrier between you and potential lice.

“It’s really not a health hazard. It’s not a sign of poor hygiene. And it’s not really spreading disease. It’s really just more of a nuisance,” Sexton added.

RELATED: Dentists reveal the worst Halloween candy for your teeth

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