Scientists have a duty to strive for honesty. And on the question of whether children should wear masks at school, especially in kindergartens and elementary schools, I conclude: The potential educational harm of mandatory masking policies is well established, at least for now, far more than possible benefits. In stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools. To justify the continuous masking of school children without seeing the end date, it is necessary to prove that the mask is useful for the child and at what age. States and communities considering masking policies just for safety should be aware that being overly cautious can be costly, but the benefits are uncertain.
For most healthy adults, masking in a public indoor environment causes only minor inconvenience.However, children are experiencing serious consequences from COVID-19, despite the surge in delta variants of concern. At a much lower rate than the elderly— It has different needs and vulnerabilities than adults.Early childhood is a time when humans are important Develop cultural, linguistic and social skillsIncludes the ability to detect emotions on other people’s faces. Social interaction with friends, parents and guardians is essential to promoting the growth and well-being of children.
Cloth mask Do you want to filter some aerosols, Not the majority, but may catch exhaled virus particles.Newly released results From a large trial in the countryside of Bangladesh Widespread use of surgical masks by adults has been found to significantly reduce the prevalence of symptomatic COVID-19. (The effect of cloth masks was more ambiguous and the survey did not include children.) However, the problem facing educators and parents is that mandatory masking policies are better than optional masking policies. Whether or not the school is safe, and the difference justifies the imposition on children.
There is no scientific consensus on the wisdom of compulsory masking rules for school children. The World Health Organization recommends that children over the age of 12 wear masks in the same situation as adults, and advises not to mask children under the age of five in particular. Many European countries are advised by government agencies.In England Emphasize quick testing instead of masking Also, elementary school students and their teachers do not need to wear face covers.
However, in the United States, the current CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines Encourage children over 2 years old to wear masks In indoor school and day care settings; especially CDC Make an exception For a nap and a meal. (Masking a very young child during sleep is not recommended due to the risk of choking.) In other words, the general wisdom in the United States is that children aged 2-4 years wear masks for more than 6 hours in day care. I want to do it. They are awake, but remove their masks while sleeping side by side in the same room. Protecting children from all coronavirus exposures is difficult for another practical reason. Small children play around with masks.
Health recommendations that give little consideration to how humans behave and what they need are unlikely to succeed. For example, a diet that tells you to eat only two carrots a day will theoretically result in dramatic weight loss. In fact, such a regimen can starve you of the nutrients your body needs. Moreover, an overly strict diet often does not result in any weight loss, as no one can stick to them. Similarly, mask obligations can be difficult for young children to chase and deprive of the stimuli they need.
In addition to recommending masks for infants, the CDC guidelines also recommend masks for most vaccinated caregivers working in infant day care centers. This advice also deviates from standard practices in other countries, including the United Kingdom.Many studies support the importance of babies looking at the caregiver’s face, and before the arrival of COVID-19, many American institutions, including AAP, I strongly agreed..
At least some fears about masking are exaggerated. Despite some critics’ claims, children wearing face covers are unlikely to suffer from the meaningful problems of exhaling carbon dioxide and inhaling oxygen. However, some self-exercising mask wearers are subjectively short of breath. Unfortunately, some school districts have also dispelled that concern.Wealthy and highly educated K-8 school in Palo Alto, California Require children to wear masks outdoors During breaks. Schools in San Diego recently also announced the obligation to use outdoor masks..But scientists knew it for a while Outdoor infections are very rare, And many Experts believe that outdoor masking is going in the wrong direction.. If a mask is needed outdoors, the child may experience play, exercise tolerance, and social restrictions. And for what benefit?
The benefits of masking requirements at school may seem self-evident —You have to help them contain the coronavirus, right?— But it may not be. In Spain, masks are used for children over 6 years old. The author of a study there examined the risk of spreading the virus at all ages. If masks offer significant benefits, the prevalence of 5-year-olds is much higher than that of 6-year-olds.
NS Results do not show it.. Instead, they found that the transmission rate, which was low among the youngest children, increased steadily with age, rather than dropping sharply for older children subject to face-covering requirements. It shows that. This shows that masking a child at school does not have much benefit and may not have any benefit at all. Still, many officials prefer to double the masking of mandates, as if the basic policies were sound and only the public failed.
Before limiting the amount of face-to-face human contact that children experience during much of their awakening time, policy makers must be keenly aware of what they can lose. not. Unfortunately, it was difficult to systematically assess the shortcomings of children’s school mask requirements. That’s because until this pandemic, so many children hadn’t had a face-covering policy for so long. Long-term results cannot be longitudinally studied because there are no children to study in the previous generation.
With no systematic study of the costs and benefits of mask requirements for children, the problem turned into a political battle between left and right. In addition to masking 2-year-olds, the CDC recommends vaccinations for people over 12 years of age. Both recommendations are from a respected federal agency, so both supporters may say they are “following science.” However, while the evidence in favor of vaccination is indisputable in the form of multiple randomized studies, the evidence in favor of school mask obligations for young children is at best fragmented. The problem with overselling unproven recommendations is that you risk alienating people from well-founded recommendations.
Unfortunately, scientists have been unable to conduct randomized trials that can provide more reliable answers. Here, schools, counties, or districts are assigned mandatory or optional masking policies that allow researchers to simply track their experience to determine which schools are infected with more coronaviruses. Children are not prohibited or prohibited from wearing masks, but rather the policy of having all children wear masks is rigorously tested.
In mid-March 2020, few people objected to neglecting attention. But almost 18 months later, we are obliged to answer the questions properly to our children and their parents. Do the advantages of masking children at school outweigh the disadvantages? The honest answer for 2021 is that we certainly don’t know.
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