Stop Panicking Parents – Selfies Are Not Spreading Head Lice

shutterstock_148728104No matter how many selfies your kids are posing for with their friends, they are probably not causing them to get infected with head lice. I sort of wish this story that went “viral” according to NBC News yesterday was true, because how awesome would it be to see a worldwide selfie shame epidemic (That wasn’t started by Jezebel) causing teens and parents to panic and put down their Instagram accounts? Hilarity would ensue.

”This is a marketing ploy, pure and simple,” Dr. Richard J. Pollack, who teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health and runs a pest identification business called IdentifyUS, told NBC News. ”Wherever these louse salons open a new branch, there always seems to be an epidemic. It’s good for business. ”


The story originated on SFist:

A Scotts Valley lice expert claims that selfies, the white-hot teen sensation sweeping the nation in 2010, are causing an uptick in lice infestations among the younger generation. Is your filthy teen at risk?

”I’ve seen a huge increase of lice in teens this year. Typically it’s younger children I treat, because they’re at higher risk for head-to-head contact. But now, teens are sticking their heads together every day to take cell phone pics,” explains Marcy McQuillan of Scotts Valley’s Nitless Noggins.


Selfies only the a few seconds to take, and heads would have to be together a lot longer for the little lice friends to crawl from head to head. Plus, teens aren’t really the preferred host for head lice, because they don’t share combs and hair accessories as much as younger kids do.

This is all a shame though. I would sort of like it if this was a real thing. We could start calling the selfies where groups of kids have their heads together “Lice Selfies” and start tagging all the pics we see on social media with the word LICE. I guess we can still do that anyway.

So yeah, selfies do not cause head lice, but they do cause duck face and the widespread epidemic of goofiness on our Facebook accounts.

(Image: Syda Productions/shutterstock)

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