Can you get head lice from movie theatre seats?

We went to see “Iron Man 2” this weekend (fantastic! loved it!), and once again I was reminded of my eternal question - can you get head lice from a move theatre seat? My head was rested against the seat for the whole movie - if there were lice there, they could have easily moved in and set up shop, I think. I’ve never had head lice, and I never want to. Anyone know the skinny on this?

I don’t know for certain, but we’re pretty sure my daughter got them this way as a younger child. We couldn’t think of any other source.

Pesky little buggers!

It depends, if the seats are the more modern, hard plastic then I’d say the odds are very low, almost zero chance. Cloth covered seats, especially older seats, are more likely to transmit lice but I’d still say it’s pretty low.

more likely butt lice.

if the placed is air conditioned then they may be inactive. it might take some amount of time for your body to warm them where you had constant contact with a cloth seat.

In our case the theater was old, with cloth seats, showed old movies at discounted prices and therefore had a lot of traffic.

We’d also heard rumors of other children getting bugs this way an sort of jumped to that conclusion.

(And my head has been itching the last hour since I replied to this thread.)

I have also heard about getting them from communal headphones at places where you buy CDs. Though I guess those kinds of stores are a dying breed now…

I’ve heard of people getting them from sharing of helmets at demolition derby nights. Those places never take the proper precautions of disenfecting the helmets between use.

I had a head lice scare recently when the child of a close friend became infested (luckily it turned out I didn’t get them), and I did a lot of reading on the subject. The current view is that it is unlikely, although not impossible, for head lice to spread through bedding, furnishings, or in any way except head-to-head contact.

A 2003 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, “Head lice on pillows, and strategies to make a small risk even less”, examined the pillowcases of people known to be infested with head lice, and found only two (of 48) pillowcases had live lice on them. Actually, it wasn’t even “lice”, it was a single louse on each of the two pillowcases. I don’t know what the odds are for a stray louse managing to get back onto someone’s head, but they can only live a day or two without feeding so they have a limited period of time to infest a new host. So while it might be possible to get lice from a shared headrest, it’s not likely enough to be worth worrying about.

Don’t worry about lice.

Worry about bedbugs!

Last year I definitely felt something crawling on my head in a movie theater. I finally managed to catch it, pinch it between my fingers and flick it away from me. It was too dark to see what I caught. I don’t think it was a louse because whatever it was felt bigger than that, like maybe an ant or flea. But I still went home and shampooed my hair.

Gah! Probably a spider.

So, possible but unlikely? I can live with that.

damn, now my scalp is itchy and crawly:( And I know damned well it wasnt before i read the thread :frowning:

Where do you live that the “modern” movie theatre seats are made of hard plastic? Wouldn’t that be terribly uncomfortable to sit in for two or three hours? Just about every movie theatre I’ve been to in North America, Europe, and Australia has had cushioned, cloth upholstery. Maybe a few of the older and extremely cheap ones had barely cushioned, vinyl upholstery, but the only places I remember sitting on bare wood or plastic to see a movie have been 1970s-era school auditoria.

I have nothing to contribute to this thread other than to tell you that the sensation you are experiencing is called “formication.”

You’re welcome.

I wouldn’t be surprised.

I had a doctor tell me you can pick up scabies from trying on clothes in a store or from an exercise machine at the gym if the person before you had them, since they can live for a few days waiting for a new host.

I would think lice would do the same thing with those upholstered theater seats.

No, not a spider. It didn’t feel spidery. Agh! Now I got the willies thinking about what spiders feel like crawling on you!

i have had this same question about airline seats (with their headrests) for a long time

The more I read this thread the more I want to hide under the covers and never leave my room. Of course, the bed bugs will get me either way, right?

Oil of peppermint, oil of oregano, or oil of lavender will keep them off you. Add it to your shampoo.

I learned that trick when there was a lice outbreak in my children’s school. We started using the peppermint and never had them come home.