Mask Exemption Notes
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most states have enacted statewide mask mandates, as simple cloth face coverings have been shown to help slow the spread of this dangerous virus. The request to wear masks is universal and applies to everyone over 2 years of age. As Pediatricians, we support the CDC, the NIH, and the American Academy of Pediatrics statements that face masks do not negatively affect a person’s health. This is true, even with respect to underlying respiratory illnesses such as asthma. We also support the ongoing evidence that wearing a mask when in public protects not just others around them, but the individual as well. As such, the physicians of Carolina Pediatrics of the Triad will not write any notes for our patients exempting them from wearing masks.
Since December 2019, the world has been dealing with the novel coronavirus epidemic, known as Covid-19. Our efforts to mitigate this pandemic have resulted in new “normal” behavior requirements. We have been asked to physically and socially distance from one another. If we are sick, have symptoms, have a possibility of exposure or have recently travelled, we are expected to quarantine to limit the virus’s ability to spread to others. When we have to go out, we are urged to wear masks when indoors and, if we cannot maintain a six-foot distance between each other, sometimes even outside.
We recognize that there will be resistance especially on the part of younger children who may not comprehend the reasons why they are required to wear masks. Many parents will experience push back from their children, of all ages. Some parents have concerns about mask wearing discomfort, anxiety, or phobia. Like managing other childhood anxieties, most children can slowly become tolerant and manage their concerns with continued reassurance and support.
Like many things we work on teaching our children, helping your child adapt to mask wearing will take patience and practice. It will be easier to familiarize a child to the face mask by trying it on at home before venturing out. Try different styles to determine the best fit for your child. Model good mask wearing habits yourself, to show your child there is nothing to fear. Try making a game of it, reward your child’s cooperation and praise them for doing their part to be healthy! We have taught them how to brush their teeth, wash their hands and how to use the potty. We can teach them to wear masks as well!
It may be difficult to get younger children to wear a mask, but it can be done. Here are some links with more pointers on this….
As parents, guiding our children is one of our responsibilities and accomplishments.