Smartphones - is there nothing they can't be blamed for?

The head line for this article is "Smartphones Blames for Dramatic Rise in Head Lice as Schoolchildren Gather Together to View Screens".  I had an instant reaction to it because I thought "Are they saying lice are being transmitted via smartphones?  Smartphones are inanimate objects and head lice wouldn't go on them!"  Then I read further and realized that it was about children having higher instances of head lice when they have their own smartphones or tablets and experts guess that this is because they are gathering close together to watch something on the small screen.  Though higher transmission around this particular activity is just a guess, I think this makes sense as the idea that lice are transmitted from head to head contact is proven. And it really is head touching head - don't believe this article when they use the unhelpful choice of words "allowing the bugs to jump between heads" because as we all know, head lice can't jump.

One thing to note though - the researchers were somehow able to determine that taking selfies was not a significant contributor to this stat.  I don't know how this was determined but it also makes sense to me.  The head to head contact of a selfie is brief and I think it is less likely that a louse would take the risk of leaving one warm head for another in this short period of time.

I would love to read the research on all of this but I could not find the original study with these claims.  (Update:  I found it.)And I really hope that no one becomes hyper-vigilant against children having personal electronic devices just because of this study.  While smartphones and tablets are often blamed for causing children to be isolated or disconnected from in-person relationships, here's one example where they are bringing children together.  Let's leave the children to their own devices (see what I did there?) within healthy limits for media use, encourage closeness, and do regular wet combing lice checks to prevent any lice sharing from becoming a problem.


Becky said...

I'm so happy to have found you and your blog! We're dealing with our first ever lice incident in our family and after 2 days of non-stop laundry and cleaning (and using lice shampoo on the kids), I'm so relieved to have found your blog. I've been reading your posts for an hour and plan to start using your combing method first thing in the morning.

My only question is, do you rinse your hair after combing to get the excess conditioner out or do you blow dry it with the conditioner still in your hair?

Thank you so much. I'm feeling much calmer after reading your posts. I can do this. (I keep repeating that to myself ;)

assignment online help said...

Smartphone is a very dangerous thing. But, I do not believe they are the only reason for the increase of lice. Children love to play together and they can be very attached, literally.

Unknown said...

Interesting!! Is there a way I can contact you with a question about lice?

Anonymous said...

How do you freeze them? How long may they take to freeze? Can they go into suspended animation? Is that possible?

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've been combing, and all I've found lately are nits and black dots attached to the hair. I suspect that if there were live lice, I would see them. I've been combing my own hair.

Unknown said...


Quick Crack said...

Head lice infestations are a common and frustrating problem for parents and kids. Unfortunately, some kids get treated inappropriately and unnecessarily for things that look like lice, but actually aren't.

These head lice pictures can help you to identify when your child has live lice on their head. And remember that you usually only need to treat your child with a lice shampoo when you see live lice. If you only see nits and are sure there are no live lice, you can just be careful to remove all of the nits.