With most Irish schools back in action today, parents have yet another worry to add to their list: head lice.

While lice are normally linked to smaller children, this is no longer the case. Teenagers watch out – 'social media lice' are a 'thing', a real-life phenomenon.

That’s right: experts have warned that the rise of the selfie has lead to more head-to-head contact amongst teens, allowing the parasites to spread more easily.

One such expert, Dr. Sharon Rink, told a Wisconsin television station: “Teenagers don’t usually get lice because they’re not sharing hats and things like that.

“People are doing ‘selfies’ like [!] every day, as opposed to going to photo booths years and years ago.”

The lice are also being transmitted by teenagers showing each other videos and photos on their phones, which requires them to huddle close together.

Irishhealth.com explains: “Head lice are spread by head-to-head contact lasting 30 seconds or longer.

“Head lice do not jump or fly. They creep from one head to the next and need to be near the skin to survive.”

Let’s just hope teenage lice doesn’t become as much of an epidemic as selfies have!

Kayla Walsh

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