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Children at risk for head lice from Halloween costumes

WATCH Children at risk for head lice...

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The ghosts and ghouls will be out on Halloween night, but the real monsters may be closer than you think!

Head lice can be quickly spread through costumes, and you may need to take a few steps to make sure they don't end up in your home. 

Local mother, Danielle Noriega says lice are her worst nightmare. Her daughters love playing dress up, but she says sharing costumes with a friend is how they became infected.

"You're embarrassed and you feel dirty, and you don't realize that if you have cleaner hair, that's what they like," said Noriega, "It's not really based on being dirty, but you still feel that way because there's bugs living inside your child's head."

Dr. Kinder Fayssoux with Eisenhower Medical Center says dirty or clean doesn't necessarily make a difference, so long as the little vampires can suck your blood.

"When you buy the costume, if you're concerned that somebody may have tried it on, wash it in a really high heat cycle or dry it in high heat," Fayssoux said. She shared head-to-head contact is the most common way to get infected with creepy crawlers, but Yolanda Hernanez who specializes in lice removal says she sees an increase in business around this time of year.

"All it takes is one infected person to try that [costume] on, and you get it," said Hernandez, owner of Baby Angel Hair. Hernandez has a full product line of combs and sprays using all natural ingredients for treatment and prevention. 

Here are some more tips for steering clear of these itchy critters:

  • If you're worried about a wig or a hat, stick it in a sealed bag overnight in the freezer
  • Always wear a swim or wig cap to cover your hair inside costume pieces
  • Those who wear braids, hairspray, gels, and have shorter hair styles have fewer issues with head lice

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