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Can You Get Head Lice in Swimming Pools?

With the summer, many children take the opportunity to have fun in the water on the beaches and pools, being an extremely popular activity!

From our experience there are many myths about getting or not lice in swimming pools, after all what is real and what is a myth?

One of the concerns of many parents in the summer is that their children can get lice in the swimming pools or water parks they visit, after all, can you or can you not get lice in swimming pools?

Lice in Swimming Pools?

So let's clarify...


1. LICE CANNOT SWIM OR SURVIVE UNDER WATER

A common misconception is that head lice can survive in water or swim from one person's head to another. The truth is, head lice cannot swim underwater, as they are adapted to cling tightly to hair shafts and cannot navigate water. When immersed in water, lice enter a state of immobility and are unable to transfer from one person to another.


2: HEAD TO HEAD CONTACT IS THE MAIN WAY OF TRANSMISSION

The most common way to get head lice is through direct contact with a person who already has it. Head lice crawl from one person's hair to another's when there is close and prolonged contact, which can occur during activities such as hugging, taking group pictures, or sharing personal items such as hats, combs, etc.


3: TRANSMISSION IN SWIMMING POOLS IS RARE

The transmission of head lice in swimming pools is extremely rare. Chlorine and other pool chemicals make it difficult for head lice to survive. Furthermore, the chaotic nature of water activities and the lack of direct contact limit the opportunity for lice transfer. While it is theoretically possible for lice to transfer in specific scenarios, it is highly unlikely that this would happen in a typical pool environment.


PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO AVOID LICE


Even if you are not likely to get head lice from a swimming pool, you can always take some preventative measures:

  • Avoid sharing personal items. To minimize the risk of transmitting head lice, avoid sharing personal items such as hats, hairbrushes, towels, or headphones.

  • Pick up the hair. Keep your hair pinned or braided when swimming to reduce the chances of direct contact.

  • Check the head frequently. Regularly check your scalp and hair for signs of head lice, such as live lice or eggs (nits). Early detection allows prompt treatment.

  • Encourage Good Hygiene Practices. Teach children about personal hygiene practices, including avoiding direct contact with others and not sharing personal items.

ENJOY THE LICE-FREE SUMMER!


If you catch it, you know, there's always Happy Heads Clinic to help!



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