After reading Tuesday’s PediaBlog post on “The Facts of Lice,” a reader asks:
So, if they cannot hop, skip or jump, and die after a day or so after leaving the scalp, is it safe to say that curtains, drapes, etc. do NOT need cleaned like mentioned over the years?
Curtains, drapes, or anything else that won’t come in contact with the head do not need to be cleaned. Furniture and carpets, cars and carseats should be vacuumed, but only once, since any lice not on a scalp will die within 24-48 hours). Stuffed animals, bed linens, and hats can go into a hot dryer for 30 minutes (or simply isolate them for 24-48 hours). Chemical pesticides that are sprayed are potentially dangerous and should not be used to de-louse a house. Best advice from HeadLice.org:
Save your physical and emotional energies for screening and thorough lice and nit removal.
A summertime FAQ is answered:
Swimming with someone who has lice carries no greater risk of transmission than any other activity. When lice are in water, they go into a state of suspended animation but remain firmly locked onto the hair – literally hanging on for dear life. This is how they survive shampooing, rain, seawater and swimming pools. Risk of transmission will occur with the sharing of towels, piling clothing or towels, storing personal items in close proximity or direct head to head contact.
More at HeadLice.org here.