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Herndon and Reston School Lice Policies

Herndon and Reston School Lice Policies
Updated on 
February 27, 2019


These school districts have dropped their “no nit” lice policies.

“With the start of the school year just around the corner, the Fairfax County Public School system is ensuring that students are as safe as they can be with the rise of head lice.

According to the FDA, each year between six and 12 million children in the U.S. get head lice, and this year, FCPS is implementing their head lice prevention policies.

‘Whenever school comes back into session is when we tend to see the most cases; when school starts in the fall, [and] when you come back after vacation. The transmission of lice is more often in the family setting and the community setting, said Beverly Webster, FCPS Communicable Disease Nurse. 

According to a statement from the school system, a student with head lice will be readmitted to school after a parent or guardian fills out a form indicating the anti-lice treatment has been administered. Afterwards, a mandatory follow up with a guardian eight to 10 days after the initial treatment is required.

Webster said schools are the number one target for the transmission.

‘Lice are transmitted by direct contact. With younger kids [and] with their playmates, they often may be lying down or reading a book together and their heads touch. They could be sharing hats or brushes [and] things like that. Those are the most common ways they are transmitted,’ said Webster. 

Officials said they will continue to tighten safety and health measures for students this year. 

FCPS officials said that the department does not track the number of cases handled in the school system.”



Schools in Leesburg, Virginia have dropped “no nit” policies; they issued the following policy in 2013. Children with head lice are allowed to stay in school. “In August 2013 the School Health Bureau completed a review of the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses regarding head lice in schools. Updated recommendations and best practices are summarized below:

“Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Guidelines for Handling Head Lice in Classrooms

LCPS follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), and Harvard Public Health.

"Students diagnosed with live head lice do not need to be sent home early from school; they can go home at the end of the day, be treated, and return to class after appropriate treatment has begun.  Nits may persist after treatment, but successful treatment should kill crawling lice." (www.cdc.gov/lice/head/schools.html)

"Current evidence does not support the efficacy and cost effectiveness of classroom or school-wide screening for decreasing the incidence of head lice among school children."  (www.cdc.gov/lice/head/schools.html)

"No nits policies that require a child to be free of nits before they can return to school are not recommended." (www.cdc.gov/lice/head/schools.html)

Parents are encouraged to comb out as many nits as possible in order to avoid confusion as to whether or not the child still has an active case of head lice.  Removal of nits requires daily combing of the hair for 7-10 days with a fine tooth nit comb.

A child who returns to school after treatment will be checked privately in the health office. After consultation with Student Health Services, letters maybe sent home to the parents of classmates when there are multiple cases of head lice reported in the same classroom.” Source Loundon School

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