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.