Kids love summer time! Kids love swimming! What could be more fun than summertime pool parties with their friends and family? Kids look forward to this time of year all long. In Texas, the intense heat can make hanging out at the pool all day really tempting. Mix that with ice cream, music, friends and your kids can be having the best summer ever. Kids together, getting close alongside the pool. What does this mean for head lice? Could swimming possibly be a risk for catching head lice?
Can Swimming Spread Head Lice?
Research shows us that head lice are capable of surviving underwater for several hours. This is because they are equipped to hold tightly to human hair and not let go when put under the water. If knocked loose, a louse is able to float at the top of the water and hold it’s breath for several hours, hoping for a new host to pop by.
Is it likely that head lice can be spread through a swimming pool? It can happen, but not often. How then is head lice most often passed on while swimming? This answer is the same as in most other scenarios we find our children in. Through direct head to head contact with another child who carries head lice.
Head lice are also often passed along through the sharing of personal items, such as towels, hair brushes, hats, or similar items that could be left along the poolside or in a pile of children’s belongings.
Doesn’t Chlorine Kill Head Lice?
The simple truth, no. Head lice are able to survive in pool chlorine water and wait for another head to call home. So, pool water is definitely not a form of lice treatment. In fact, simply shampooing and bathing will not eliminate head lice either. They are designed to grip tightly onto human hair strands and withstand the force of the water and soap being pushed all around them. This is why more extreme measures need to be taken to ensure head lice are gone. This also explains why head lice are not more prone to dirty or clean hair. They are equal opportunity pests.