SMARTPHONES are fuelling a dramatic rise in head lice among British schoolchildren, scientists have claimed. Kids often cluster together in groups around their phones when taking photos, allowing the beasties to jump from one child’s head to the next.
A study of more than 200 youngsters found those owning a smartphone – or tablet – were more than twice as likely to be infested with the tiny bugs.
Out of the 98 who did not have or use either type of device just under 30 per cent experienced head lice – compared to 65 of the 104 (62.5 percent) who did.
The embarrassing social problem could be much more common than feared.
Almost half of the participants had been affected, up to 22 times more than the figure of two to eight per cent that has been calculated in the past.
Taking regular selfies seemed to increase the risk but not by enough to conclude it was a factor, contrary to previous suggestions.
There is a theory that increasing use of portable devices such as smartphones and tablets has led to increased transmission of head lice.