MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with new guidance about face coverings for children based on the latest evidence. Pediatricians say now is the time to start preparing children for wearing masks all day if they are heading back to the classroom.
The AAP hopes other parents get the message. Cloth face coverings can be safely worn by all children ages two and older, including the majority of children with underlying health conditions.
“This virus is very contagious and it can spread from people talking in close proximity from one another,” says Dr. Elissa Rubin from Happy and Healthy Pediatrics in New York.
She says kids should also practice the proper way to put the mask on and take it off by “fitting it around the nose, making sure it’s underneath your chin. You want to make sure that they’re not touching the front of the mask at any point. Once they take the mask off, the mask should be taken off by the earpieces.”
Dr. Rubin also says parents need to stay positive about the precautions.
“None of this is ideal, but it’s what’s necessary to get the job done to keep our families protected. And I do think that if we practice at home and role model to our kids how important it is, they will do very well with it,” she says.
Liam and Gavin Cohen spend a couple of hours a day doing something they enjoy with masks on. Their mom, Dawn, wants them to be prepared to wear them at school.
“They also want to protect their teachers, their grandparents, they want to be actively helping the community, doing their part,” she says.
Nine-year-old Liam is ready to go back to school with his mask.
“I hope that everybody doesn’t get sick. I hope that they do it good, where everybody’s social distanced and everybody has the mask on,” Liam says.
He says the mask isn’t so bad once you get used to it, and after a while, he even forgets he’s wearing it.
Experts say parents should choose a mask that is at least two or three layers and adjustable straps are a good way to ensure you get a good fit.