Swimming, Chlorine, and Head Lice.

kids splashing in swimming pool

Can you get head lice in a swimming pool? Does chlorine kill lice? These are two questions that we hear a lot. For the answers see below:

Can you Catch Head Lice in a Swimming Pool?

Lice cannot swim. If you are swimming in a pool, you will not catch a case of head lice through the water. You may, however, get lice through head-to-head contact with another person. If you are swimming in close contact with someone who has lice, and your heads are next to each other, a bug may have the opportunity to crawl onto your head. Having wet hair does not prevent you from getting lice.

Does Chlorine Kill Head Lice

Unfortunately chlorine does not kill lice. In fact, head lice are resistant to most chemicals, including purported lice shampoos. Chlorine has no effect on head lice. In fact, we see a spike in the incidence of head lice when the weather is hot and families are at the pool because children are playing together in close contact.

We received a phone call from a perplexed mom in San Bernardino. She had had a birthday party for her 10 year old daughter at her house. It was a swimming party and a couple of weeks afterwards, several of the girls turned up with head lice. The kids had been in the pool most of the time and she wanted to know why the chlorine hadn’t killed the bugs. We explained that lice are extremely hearty and they do not die when exposed to chlorine.

If you discover head lice in your family, the optimal way to get rid of it is to suffocate the live bugs and then pull out the bugs and nits (lice eggs) from the hair. That is best done using a high quality comb and then picking out by hand anything that is left. LiceDoctors is available day and night for your nitpicking needs. Give us a call at 909-266-2549 and we will help you today.