Guidance for Use of Protective Masks for Children at School During the COVID-19 Pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, children may be required to wear face masks at school, except when there is a written medical excuse due to an underlying health issue. While many children may initially be apprehensive about wearing a mask, most adjust quickly. Masking is safe; there are no negative effects of wearing a mask. Masks are recommended for children with asthma or other diseases of the lung, and do not tend to make it difficult for them to breath. For example, children with cystic fibrosis, a severe lung disorder, even outside of the current pandemic are often advised to wear masks when out in public, and these masks have no impact on their ability to breathe.
There are very few circumstances where there is a health reason for a child to not wear a mask. Children with lung disease of any kind or those who are immunocompromised are at greatest risk for having significant illness if they do get COVID-19, therefore it is important for them to be protected by wearing a mask.
Some children with an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disorder may not understand the purpose of wearing a mask and may panic or not tolerate a mask, and therefore be unable to wear one.
Children tend to be the age group least affected by COVID-19, but if they become infected they may increase the spread of the disease, especially to parents and grandparents at home. While they are attending school, it is important for them to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.