That kids wearing face masks to keep them from getting COVID is controversial is amazing to many people, especially pediatricians.
Why wouldn’t you want your kids to wear a mask if it could protect them?
The Latest on Masks to Keep Kids From Getting COVID
And yes, the data does show that wearing a mask is safe and protects kids from getting COVID…
Need some proof?
Let’s take a look at what’s happening in Texas.
In one north Texas school district that opened early, on August 2, they now have 67 active staff cases and 564 active student cases.
While that’s a lot, it is important to keep in mind that as cases are continuing to rise in most other school districts, leading to more than a few temporary school closures, they are actually dropping in GISD!
It is almost certainly because their staff and students are wearing masks!
Masks Save Lives
Wearing a mask can protect the person wearing the mask and the people around them.
Need more proof that masks work?
- The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bangladesh – this very large study found that mask distribution, role modeling, and promotion increased mask-wearing and physical distancing, leading to lower illness
- Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2 – these 11 epidemiological investigations quantify the benefit of mask wearing to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2
- Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis – found that face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection
- Reduction of secondary transmission of SARS- CoV-2 in households by face mask use, disinfection and social distancing: a cohort study in Beijing, China – found that face masks were 79% effective in preventing transmission
- The role of community-wide wearing of face mask for control of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic due to SARS-CoV-2
- COVID-19 Trends and Impacts Survey (CTIS) – not wearing a mask in public directly correlates with knowing someone who is sick with COVID!
- Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US – found that mandating face mask use in public is associated with a decline in the daily COVID-19 growth rate
- An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19 – a review of the literature that offers evidence in favor of widespread mask use as source control to reduce community transmission
- Low SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Elementary Schools — Salt Lake County, Utah, December 3, 2020–January 31, 2021 – found that schools in high-incidence communities can still limit in-school transmission by consistently using masks and implementing other important mitigation strategies.
- COVID-19 Cases and Transmission in 17 K–12 Schools — Wood County, Wisconsin, August 31–November 29, 2020 – this study demonstrated that, with precautions in place, in-school transmission of SARS-CoV-2 appeared to be uncommon in this rural Wisconsin community, despite up to a 40% positive SARS-CoV-2 test rate in the surrounding county.
- Pilot Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Secondary Transmission in Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools Implementing Mitigation Strategies — St. Louis County and City of Springfield, Missouri, December 2020
- SARS-CoV-2 Incidence and Transmission in 48 K-12 Virginia Public Schools During Community Surge
- SARS-CoV-2 aerosol transmission in schools: the effectiveness of different interventions
- When do elementary students need masks in school? Model-estimated risk of in-school SARS-CoV-2 transmission and related infections among household members before and after student vaccination
- Face Masks, Public Policies and Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Canada – mask mandates are associated with a 22 percent weekly reduction in new COVID-19 cases, relative to the trend in absence of mandate
- High-Quality Masks Reduce COVID-19 Infections and Deaths in the US
- Infectious SARS-CoV-2 in Exhaled Aerosols and Efficacy of Masks During Early Mild Infection – masks reduced viral RNA in aerosols
- COVID-19 Projections for K12 Schools in Fall 2021: Significant Transmission without Interventions – universal masking can reduce student infections by 26-78%
- The role of masks in reducing the risk of new waves of COVID-19 in low transmission settings: a modeling study – Mandating the use of masks in community settings would significantly reduce the risk of epidemic resurgence.
- How Policies on Restaurants, Bars, Nightclubs, Masks, Schools, and Travel Influenced Swiss COVID-19 Reproduction Ratios
- Masking in Schools | The ABC Science Collaborative Provides Clarity on Questions – studied one million students and came out in favor of universal masking
Wearing a mask is especially important to protect those who are too young to get vaccinated and those who have a true medical contraindication to getting vaccinated against COVID.
“When used in conjunction with widespread testing, contact tracing, quarantining of anyone that may be infected, hand washing, and physical distancing, face masks are a valuable tool to reduce community transmission.”An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19
Wearing a mask is also important as COVID variants surge, some of which are more infectious, even to those who are fully vaccinated.
Masks save lives.
“Without interventions in place, the vast majority of susceptible students will become infected through the semester.”COVID-19 Projections for K12 Schools in Fall 2021: Significant Transmission without Interventions
Parents should ignore the misinformation and disinformation about facemasks and COVID-19.
“To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, fully vaccinated people should wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.”Use Masks to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
In addition to social distancing, they should wear a mask and should encourage their kids who are at least two years old to wear masks in school and when in public around a lot of other people.
More on Masks Save Lives
- What Do Anti-Maskers Have in Common With Anti-Vaxxers?
- Do Physician Groups Differ on Mask Guidance for School Children?
- Mask Exemptions for Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Fact Check – Did a Doctor Prove That Face Masks Don’t Work?
- 7 Things You Need to Know About COVID-19
- Are Kids Dying With COVID-19?
- CDC – Your Guide to Masks
- CDC – Use Masks to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
- AAP – Face Masks for Children During COVID-19
- AAP – Mask Mythbusters: Common Questions about Kids & Face Masks
- WHO – (COVID-19): Children and masks
- Science shows mask-wearing is largely safe for children
- DeSantis’ executive order misleads about the lack of scientific support for masking in schools
- Misinformation About Face Masks
- Face masks: what the data say
- Masks Work. Really. We’ll Show You How
- Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19
- About that Danish mask study that “shows that masks don’t work”…
- “Masks make you sicker”: The unkillable COVID-19 conspiracy theory
- How antimaskers co-opt techniques of scientific data analysis to generate COVID-19 propaganda
- Addressing Dr. Daniel Stock’s Claims about Masks
- Misinformation and disinformation about facemasks and COVID-19
- Face Mask War
- The Mask Ask: Understanding and Addressing Mask Resistance
- School mask mandate wars: Politics (Florida) v. Science (North Carolina)
- One More Time – Masks Work
- Do face masks decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission?
- Face masks for COVID-19 – despite politics, science says they do work
- What We Know About Kids and Masks
- Why Some People Choose Not to Wear a Mask
Last Updated on September 7, 2021 by Vincent Iannelli, MD