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Columbia School Lice Policy

Updated on April 14, 2017

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The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control recommends that students with active cases of lice be permitted to stay in school until the end of the school day if it is likely that they will not be in close contact with other students. The students should then be treated at home and the next day may go back to school. Children will be allowed to return to class even if nits (eggs) are present, as long as there are no live bugs. Basically, the state site recommends that schools relinquish "no nit" policies in favor of allowing kids with nits to stay in school. The policy is stated as, "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." 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 child cannot return to school if there are any live, crawling lice seen on the scalp. Check the child’s scalp 7-10 days after first treatment. If there are any live crawling lice, the treatment must be repeated in order to return to school." More information:

Columbia Schools

Schools in Columbia follow the recommendations of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. "Exclude students with Head Lice (pediculosis)G, defined as the presence of live, crawling lice visualized on direct inspection of the scalp, and/or the presence of nits (eggs) that appear to be 1⁄4 inch or 6 mm from the scalp. Students identified with pediculosis may be allowed to remain in the classroom until the end of the school day, with limitations placed upon activities that cause head-to- head contact. Criteria for Return—Screening AND Treatment:

  1. Screening: Excluded students may be readmitted when screening identifies no live, crawling lice on the student's scalp.I
  2. Treatment: Excluded students may return with a parent note, after one initial treatment with an over- the-counter or prescription chemical product (shampoo, lotion, oral medication) identified in literature as having pediculicidal activity. Schools may opt to allow students to return after one initial treatment with a mechanical lice-removal or pediculicidal method (heat, nit/lice combing). While no recommendation is made by SC DHEC, school districts may opt to allow students to return after one initial treatment with an herbal or botanical product advertised or identified in literature as having pediculicidal properties. The school may identify acceptable products.

Re-screening Recommendation: Students who were identified with pediculosis and excluded should be rescreened at 7-10 days after initial treatments. Rescreened students who are found to have live crawling lice should be re-treated and excluded until screening identifies no live, crawling lice on the student's scalp. Other Restrictions: The AAP recommends that, until the end of the school day, students with head lice avoid any activities that involve the student in head-to-head contact with other students or sharing of any headgear.'Sports or physical education governing bodies may impose additional restrictions on participation. Students with other evidence of infestation (e.g., nits further than 1⁄4” from the scalp) may be excluded per local policies. Ideally, pediculosis screening is performed by school health nurses, or by school health aides who have been trained by school nurses. Documentation for Return Parent Note documenting school- approved treatment, plus evidence of no live-crawling lice on student’s scalp. More information:

Lexington County Schools

This district has the same lice policy as Columbia schools; children with lice and nits will be home to be treated and may return after treatment. If live lice are found children will be sent home; if only nits are found children may stay. Children reading a book - LiceDoctors

"Lexington One follows school exclusion guidelines for communicable diseases published by S.C. DHEC. These guidelines indicate school exclusion for head lice from the end of the school day until after the child has been treated with an appropriate lice treatment product. If a teacher thinks a student may have head lice, that teacher will refer the student to the school nurse for screening. If the nurse confirms that the student has active head lice, the nurse will notify parent/guardian of that finding and treatment options. Before a student can be readmitted to school, the nurse must recheck the student to verify that the treatment was effective. When the school nurse finds two or more active cases of head lice in any one classroom, the nurse screens all students in that classroom." More information: Fort Jackson Area including Beaufort Area These schools have strict "no nit" 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:

Aiken Schools

"The school board may remove or exclude any students whose physical condition would interfere with their ability to learn or would expose other students to infection. A student actually known to be suffering from acute tonsillitis, scabies, lice, ringworm or impetigo contagiosa shall be excluded from school during such illness and be readmitted only on the certificate or acknowledged telephone call of the attending physician or local health authority attesting to such recovery and non-infectiousness. (Policy JGCB/JGCC - School District of Aiken County)." More information: If you want to ensure that your child will be able to rerun to school tomorrow, call LiceDoctors today in the Columbia area at (803) 497-9034. Your child will be lice-free and ready for school. That's a guarantee!