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Charleston School Lice Policy

Updated on April 14, 2017

Children in front of a bus - LiceDoctors

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, students with active cases of lice should be allowed to remain in school for the day if it is likely that they will not be in close contact with other students. They should then be sent home to be treated and may return to school even if nits (eggs) are present, as long as there are no live bugs. Basically, the state advocates that schools no longer maintain "no nit" policies, which automatically send students with nits home from school. The policy is stated as, "SCHOOL READMITTANCE AFTER BEING INSTRUCTED TO TREAT FOR LIVE LICE: If your child has crawling lice or with nits (eggs) ¼ inch or closer to the scalp , and if head-to-head contact with other children can be avoided, he may be sent home at the end of the school day. Otherwise, he may be sent home immediately. After his first treatment with a school-approved lice removal product, if there are no active lice crawling on your child's head, your child may return to school. The school or center should check your child's scalp 7 days after treatment for any newly hatched crawling lice. If any are present, your child will have to be retreated for lice before coming back to school. PARENT MUST ACCOMPANY CHILD TO SCHOOL AND PROVIDE PROOF OF TREATMENT. IF LIVE LICE ARE STILL PRESENT PARENT MUST TAKE CHILD HOME FOR FURTHER HEAD LICE TREATMENT/REMOVAL." "Head and Body Lice (Pediculosis) - exclude until 24 hours after first treatment with recommended shampoo. The school nurse must then judge as non-infective upon student's return." More information:

Charleston Public Schools

Charleston schools have dropped their "no nit" policy which prevents children with nits from remaining in school. Children with live lice will be sent home to eradicate the live bugs. "Parent must accompany child to school and provide proof of treatment. If live lice are present, parent must take child home for further head lice treatment/removal." More information: According to an article in the Post and Courier, lice have become so prevalent in the Charleston area schools that the county has developed an information sheet that tells what lice are, how to prevent them from spreading, and how to get rid of them. According to school principal, Cathie Middleton of Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary in West Ashley, when children are found to have lice, they will be sent home to be treated. The school will inform parents that a child in the class has lice. “It’s not a health issue ... but it does keep kids from being at their best,” Middleton said. More information:

Summerville Schools

Students raising their hands - LiceDoctors

Students with active cases of lice will be sent home for treatment. Upon return to school, the child must be checked by the nurse and must present proof that he or she has received treatment. (note: LiceDoctors can provide you with a certificate of treatment). The lice policy for Summerville is as stated below, "STUDENT HEALTH SERVICES Our school system recognizes that good physical health goes hand in hand with good academic performance. Health problems may prevent a child from achieving his/her fullest potential. Unfortunately, many such difficulties go undetected for years. Trained professionals from the district’s Special Services Division will be available to conduct age appropriate screening tests for vision, hearing, blood pressure problems, dental problems, scoliosis and speech, as well as contagious diseases (such as head lice*, chicken pox, impetigo, etc.). Should such screening detect a problem, parents will be notified for further follow-up. *According to Dorchester District Two Policy JLCC: If a teacher suspects a child of having head lice or nits, he/she will notify the school nurse or principal’s designee. If the student has an active infestation, school personnel will notify the parent/legal guardian by telephone or in writing with recommendations for treatment procedures. READMISSION TO SCHOOL The district prohibits a student who is sent home with head lice or nits from returning to school until he/she meets the following conditions:

  • The student shows evidence of treatment as determined by the school
  • The student passes a physical screening by the school nurse or principal’s designee that shows the absence of head lice. At no time will a student be allowed to return to school without proof of treatment and a screening. Any student who is absent for more than three days to treat head lice or nits must present a doctor’s or nurse’s note for the days to be considered as excused absences."

More information:

Mount Pleasant Schools

The Mount Pleasant schools have a stricter lice policy: no student with nits will be allowed to return to school until hair is clear. "Head Lice: Children with head lice must be removed from the school and treated for lice and nits (eggs). All nits must be removed before the child returns to school." More information:

Beaufort Schools

Like Mount Pleasant schools, Beaufort schools retain their "no nit" lice policies. "Head lice are extremely contagious. Students having evidence of head lice will be sent home by the school nurse. They may not return to school until all lice bugs and eggs have been removed and the student is cleared by the school nurse. Contact your school nurse for more detailed instructions." More information: LiceDoctors is available day and night to eradicate your head lice infestation so that your child can go back to school the day following treatment. Call LiceDoctors in the Charleston vicinity at 843-501-9900 and we will send a knowledgeable lice specialist to your home whenever is convenient for you. Treatment comes with a full guarantee!