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Howard County School Lice Policies

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Updated on July 19, 2020

Students with nits only will be allowed to remain in school, although they must be treated at home.


An infestation of the head by the head louse pediculus humanus capitis. Head lice spend their life cycles on the skin of the human host. Lice are spread by direct contact (head to head) with an infested person and by contact with contaminated articles such as brushes, clothing, bedding, hair bows, etc.


Lice DO NOT transmit any disease and are considered a “nuisance” problem by both the Center for Disease Control and the HowardCounty Health Department. 

The school system does not routinely send out school-wide notifications of head lice unless greater than 10% of a population has confirmed live lice. Students who have been treated for live lice can return to school with proof of treatment ...even if they still have nits. 

Students with nits or lice

A student with complaints of an itchy scalp will be evaluated by the health room staff. If live lice are found, the parent/guardian will be notified about the need to treat with a pediculocide. “No Nit” policies are no longer indicated by the American Academy of Pediatrics.Therefore, students that present with nits will not be sent home.

Students will be required to show proof of treatment prior to the return of school including but not limited to the prescription or over the counter box. The recommendation is to retreat the student in 7-10 days per the product instructions. 

Health Room staff will check any close contacts such as siblings and/or other students with symptoms. Routine screenings are not recommended.”

Source: Howard County Public Schools

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