Bizarre call for TWO YEAR OLDs to wear masks over fears Covid will ‘spread significantly’
- Experts calling for children as young as two-years-old to wear masks at schools
- Scientists and doctors from OzSage recommending young children wear masks
- They say kids without masks are three-and-a-half times more likely to get virus
Experts are calling for children as young as two-years-old to wear masks in schools after a study found maskless students were three-and-a-half times more likely to contract coronavirus.
OzSage, a network of doctors and scientists from a range of medical sectors, conducted research using evidence collected internationally that shows schools without a universal mask program are significantly more likely to spread the virus.
The group is calling for kindergarten children, aged between two and five, to wear masks, with a representative telling 3AW’s Neil Mitchell Australian schools should be pushing for the mandate.
‘I get it’s a big change and change will always bring with it some level of hesitancy but … we want our kids to be safe, we want our schools to be open,’ occupational hygienist Kate Cole said.
‘I’m not saying it’s going to be possible for every single two year old, absolutely not, but we should try.’
Experts are calling for children as young as two-years-old to wear masks after a study found students were three-and-a-half times more likely to contract coronavirus
OzSage is calling for kindergarten childen aged between two and five to wear masks in schools after data confirmed the greater risk of spreading virus among unmasked kids
WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATIONON ON MASKS FOR CHILDREN:
Children aged 5 years and under should not be required to wear masks.
This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance.
The decision to use masks for children aged 6-11 should be based on the following factors:
- Whether there is widespread transmission in the area where the child resides
- The ability of the child to safely and appropriately use a mask
- Access to masks, as well as laundering and replacement of masks in certain settings (such as schools and childcare services)
- Adequate adult supervision and instructions to the child on how to put on, take off and safely wear masks
- Potential impact of wearing a mask on learning and psychosocial development
- Specific settings and interactions the child has with other people who are at high risk of developing serious illness
OzSage say they’ve used data from schools around the world to determine the higher risk of maskless students contracting the virus at educational facilities.
They used schools particularly in contrasting counties and regions of America where masks are mandatory and non-mandatory as studies to determine the effectiveness of masks in educational facilities, finding those without are three-times more likely to spread the virus.
The World Health Organisation says that children under five shouldn’t be forced to wear masks, but OzSage say they are looking to more up to date science that suggests mask use will be effective.
WHO say in their official guidelines ‘children aged five and under should not be required to wear masks’ because it is not in the best interests of the child physically and socially.
‘This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance,’ the organisation says.
Ms Cole disputed their information, saying OzSage’s data is more up-to-date and conclusive to coronavirus.
‘Unfortunately the WHO has not always been right during this pandemic and so we look to the latest science to help inform our decision-making,’ she said.
‘We know in the US that counties or regions without masks had higher rates of Covid than those who did.’
Currently in Australia children under the age of 12 are exempt from wearing masks.
Masks are mandatory for all Year 7 students and staff and are strongly recommended for primary school kids and faculty.
Ms Cole said the chore of mask wearing can be lessened by including children in the decision making behind selecting a mask.
She asked her children to pick a shape, design and colour so they would be enthusiastic about wearing it and believe other parents can follow suit to take the emphasis off wearing one.
Currently in Australia children under the age of 12 are exempt from wearing masks
Ms Cole said including children in the selection process, asking them to pick shapes, colours and designs, can make them more enthusiastic about wearing masks
‘The best thing you can do is involve children of all ages with the process of getting a mask they want to wear,’ Ms Cole said.
‘Kids learn how to tie shoe laces, they learn how to put hats on, they can also learn how to wear masks.’