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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. LiceDoctors can put your mind at ease. Lice cannot swim, so you cannot get lice from a swimming pool. The CDC confirms that by stating that head lice can live underwater for hours but it is not likely that they will be passed along in the swimming pool as they cling tightly to the human hair of the head they are on. 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 that person. How alarmed should you be if you hear the words “lice swimming pool?”  Read the article to know the truth about popular questions about head lice and enjoy your time in the 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. Keep in mind that lice hold the hair very tightly, so they are unlikely to fall off.

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 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 because chlorine does not kill lice. The lice cling tightly to hair and will not let go when a person submerges in the water. The person will emerge from the chlorinated pool with their lice infestation intact.

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 they 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, you need lice treatment. 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 they're 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?

If it’s unlikely to get head lice in the water, except for direct head-to-head contact, then how are 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 infected person, so avoid sharing towels at the swimming pool. Keep in mind, though, that head lice are usually not spread via a vector-like towel.

sharing towel lice from the pool

When and Where Head Lice Outbreak Is Most Likely Possible?

Head lice are spread most commonly through direct head-to-head contact with someone else who has lice, so it is most likely to get head lice when you are near someone who has an active case. This is especially true of small children in school or at camp as they find themselves in close contact with fellow campers throughout the day. Summer and warm weather climates are when we find spikes in the numbers of head lice cases as again children are together more. Family holidays and school vacations can also contribute to the spread of head lice.

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? Call LiceDoctors at 800-224-2537! Do not let head lice ruin your summer plans! We can help, contact us!

We provide a friendly in-home lice removal service

Book your appointment today


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