Friday, September 19, 2014

Do Lice Love Selfies?

I saw a headline about selfies leading to more head lice in teens not so long ago. When I read it, I thought. “Goodness, that makes sense. What with everyone cramming their heads together to take a picture, I can see lice moving onto new feeding grounds. And teens do love taking selfies.

Being a reporter type, I did what I always do, only now I do it faster because of the Internet. I did some research. It wasn’t hard because the article had gone from a regional e-zine into a blurb on the national news. And all the headlines carried words sure to smack a parent upside the head: lice, teen, and selfie.

Bad enough parents have to battle lice on their young’uns, now some expert is telling them they haveta worry about their teenagers bringing those little rascals home, too? All on account of teens constantly taking phone pictures of themselves and their friends.

Back to the article. The quoted expert was the owner of a de-lousing company, so right there I learned something new. I had no idea companies existed that did nothing but remove lice from people’s heads. Imagine spending your day nitpicking! Not that some folks don’t already do that, but usually they criticize little things about life, they don’t actually pluck nits from some kid’s head.

Fulltime Nitpicking
It took me awhile to wrap my head around the idea of true nitpicking being a full time job, but once I digested it, I wondered if the owner of such a company is a real expert. Now, I can sorta see her being an expert since she runs a de-lousing business. But, wouldn’t it be good for her business to make parents of all age kids nervous about lice? 

I was also a little leery of the expert’s facts, but it could’ve been the way the reporter put them together. First, she’s quoted as having seen a “huge increase of lice in teens this year” and later, “the bump in business over the last few years has been tenfold.” 

Here’s my problem. I need solid evidence. How many is huge? And tenfold times what? Is the tenfold increase an increase in teen head lice cases or just that her business has been growing as more parents use her service.

Bug Expert
And then, of course, there’s the bug expert. He doesn't make money off removing head lice and thinks transferring lice while taking selfies is all hogwash. Seems he’s run off to many a school to verify lice infestations only to find the culprit has bread crumbs in his hair, not lice. 

This guy says teens aren’t as likely to have lice in the first place. Seems they’re better at washing behind their ears. Younger kids share lice because they tend to roll around on the ground together more than teens do. Although I’m not saying teens don’t roll around together…

Since I never heard of a company that delouses folks, I’m going out on a limb here and say the real story is there’s a huge increase is the number of businesses devoted to de-lousing kids. And to my surprise, there’s one right here in Tassanoxie. Leastways, there’s a car driving around with a cutesy lice removal company name on the door. I was that surprised Tassanoxie had enough head lice to support a de-lousing company. 

iPhone 6 for Teens
There’s a bright side of this story for some enterprising teen. Here’s the ammo to convince your parents you need the new large size iPhone 6: lice prevention. All you gotta do is swear to keep at least 6” between heads when taking group selfies.