Did you know? There are approximately 12,000 cases of head lice per month in Atlanta.
No one is immune to head lice. They are highly contagious and spread quickly from person to person, typically when people are in direct head-to-head contact, especially in group settings like school classrooms.
Each county school district in the Atlanta area has attendance and health policies for children who have head lice and eggs/nits.
The following lice policies are from Atlanta, GA area school districts.
If you suspect your child has head lice, please contact or see a health provider and notify the school’s health clinic. It is important to continuously examine your child’s hair every day for at least two weeks because nits can live up to two weeks. Head lice can easily be confused with other health conditions and a formal diagnosis is preferred before treatment is administered. If the school suspects your child has head lice, you will be notified and will be asked to seek treatment for your student before he/she can return to school.
The Gwinnett County School System has a no-nit policy which means your child must be free of head lice and nits before returning to school. Only two (2) consecutive calendar days of absence will be considered excused for the current head lice problem. Any additional days missed with the current head lice problem will be marked unexcused.
Because head lice are so easily spread from one child to another, children with head lice (or eggs, often referred to as “nits”) cannot remain at school. If your child has head lice, you will be asked to come to the school to pick-up your child. Your child will not be allowed to return to school until proof of treatment is provided. In the event that head lice are a recurring problem, clearance from the Henry County Health Department may be necessary before your child may return to school.
Forsyth County has a no-nit policy, which means your child must be free of lice and nits before returning to school. Only two (2) consecutive calendar days of absence will be considered excused for the current head lice problem. Any additional days missed with the current head lice problem will be marked unexcused.
The school nurse will confirm the presence of lice or nits on the suspected individual. If there should be difficulty in identifying the presence of lice or nits, the school nurse may then refer the student to the area consulting nurse for further evaluation.
Infested students should be sent home immediately with the “Pediculosis First Letter to Parent or Guardian” and recommendations for treatment. Once a student is identified as being infested, the school nurse should check his/her siblings and the infested students sent home. If siblings attend another school, that school nurse will be notified to check the siblings.
In elementary school, once a student is identified as being infested with live lice, the student will be sent home. If 10% of the student’s class is infested, all students in the class will be examined.
In middle school, once a student is identified as being infested with live lice, the student will be sent home. If infestation is found in 10% of that student’s pod/team, the school nurse and consulting nurse will check the entire pod/team.
Proof of treatment (store receipt/box top from medication) should be required on return to school. The student will be re-examined for crawling forms and evidence of a recent shampoo by the school nurse. Each student will be rechecked for the presence of head lice after 10 days. Parents must remove all the egg cases or nits from their child’s hair.
The continued presence of egg cases or nits in a student’s hair after treatment is not a sufficient ground for denying him/her readmission to school unless the numbers of nits found are not consistently decreasing over a period of 7 days. However, remaining nits may hatch even after treatment. Parents should be encouraged to continue daily nit removal and alternative methods should be offered. Therefore, all infested persons should be retreated in 7-10 days to deactivate any remaining lice that have hatched or did not die after the first treatment.
If the student has not been satisfactorily treated for lice or nits, he/she will be refused readmission to school. Parent will be notified to take the student home, and the “Pediculosis Second Letter to Parent or Guardian” will be sent home. To get your kid’s head checked and learn more about our head lice removal service in Atlanta, GA – schedule your family’s appointment today.
Centers for Disease Control
Georgia Department of Public Health