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Can You Get Lice From a Pool?

Can You Get Lice From a Pool?
Updated on 
March 27, 2017

Can You Get Lice From a Swimming Pool?

During the summer months when water activities are common, families are concerned about their risk of contracting lice from water. We can put your mind at ease, somewhat. Lice cannot swim, so you will not catch a case of lice by a swimming louse. However, if your child has head to head contact with another child who has lice while in the water, they are at risk of contracting lice from them. How alarmed should you be if you hear the words “lice swimming pool?”

Can Lice Live In Water?

Can lice survive in water if they fall off of a person’s head? Can lice swim? Lice cannot live in a body of water or swim. Once they fall off of the head, lice in the water begin to die. They will die within 24 hours of falling off the head, that is if they do not drown in the water first.

Can You Get Lice From A Pool?

Children love the pool, so can lice survive in a pool or can lice live in pools? Does pool water kill lice? When someone with lice enters a swimming pool, it does not become a lice pool. The louse will latch onto the hair with its legs so it won’t fall off. It is unlikely that lice will spread in a swimming pool. What about the chemicals? Will chlorine kill lice in a pool?

Does Pool Chlorine Kill Lice?

lice tips do swimming pool chemicals chlorine baquacil kill head lice

Lice are especially hearty creatures that do not die when exposed to many chemicals. Chlorine is a chemical that is used to keep pools clean. Does chlorine kill lice? Does swimming kill lice if there is a lot of chlorine in the water? Lice are becoming increasingly resistant to chemicals so don’t count on even the most chlorinated pool to kill lice.

We received a call from a mom in San Bernardino. She had a swimming party for her daughter and a couple of weeks afterward, several of the girls discovered lice. They’d all been in the pool most of the time and she wanted to know does chlorine kill head lice?  If it’s very chlorinated, can chlorine kill lice – at least the bugs? We explained that lice do not die when exposed to chlorine.

Do Head Lice Spread In Swimming Pools?

When a person with head lice enters a swimming pool, the louse will latch onto the strands of hair super tight with the claws on all six of its legs so as to not fall off. They are very strong and resilient so can maintain a firm grip and hang on despite any friction. This is why you cannot remove lice from your hair simply by combing and showering. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that lice will spread in a swimming pool. Rather, again, it is the direct head to head contact of individuals in the swimming pool that will cause the spread of lice, not from lice getting into the pool itself and their making their way to another host. 

Can Swimming Cap Help Not Spread Lice?

Outside of the water, there are preventive tactics that can be used to lessen your chances of getting lice. What about in the water? Some people look to swimming caps to help stop the spread of head lice in the water. This will provide some protection if your child is close to someone with lice. The bathing cap has to be on tight so a louse cannot get into the hair by crawling under the cap.

Is Sharing Towel The Most Popular Way To Get Lice?

It’s unlikely to get head lice in the water, except for direct head to head contact, then how is lice spread at the pool? Towels are one possibility, although not that likely. Lice don’t like to leave the head, but the lice may make their way to the towel of an infested person, so avoid sharing towels at the swimming pool. Keep in mind, though, that head lice are usually not spread via a vector like towels.

sharing towel lice from the pool

Conclusion: Think You've Got A Case Of Lice At The Pool? We Can Help!

Think you got a case of lice at the pool? We can help! Call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537! Do not let head lice ruin your summer plans!

We provide a friendly in-home lice removal service

Book your appointment today

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