Home Education To Mask or Not to Mask: Unmasking fact from fiction around mask mandates for young children

To Mask or Not to Mask: Unmasking fact from fiction around mask mandates for young children

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As a parent or guardian, you’re constantly made aware of healthcare guidelines, and safety protocols implemented by early childhood educators and care-givers. With so much information out there, it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction. While some sources may contain outdated or ill-informed commentary, others disseminate outright falsehoods. As long-standing operators of safe daycare in Gaithersburg MD, we’ve compiled some science-driven, medical community-informed tips, guidelines, and commentary for your benefit.

Putting Your Fears to Rest

When in doubt, parents and guardians of daycare-age children should always refer to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for the latest news and guidelines. However, here’s a brief primer on face masks mandates for young kids:

  • Wearing Masks Won’t Impede a Child’s Breathing

Some parents fear that wearing masks may lead to hypoxemia, or lowering of blood oxygen levels, in their child. This is not the case. Because masks are manufactured from materials that won’t impede the flow of oxygen, there is no risk of hypoxemia.

  • Size Your Child’s Mask Appropriately

Despite what some mask advertisements might claim, when it comes to sizing masks for children, there’s no “one size fits all” mask. To be effective in protecting your child, the CDC recommends you use masks especially fitted for children.

  • Masks Don’t Contribute to Stymied Lung Growth in Young Children

For those parents and guardians who have heard that masks cause hypercapnia, or carbon dioxide poisoning, leading to stymied lung growth – here’s the good news: Absolutely not!  The entire time they are at child care in Gaithersburg MD, wearing breathable masks does not trap Carbon dioxide molecules to force kids to re-breathe “stale” air.

  • Masks Don’t Cause Young Children’s Immune System to Weaken

Even if a child wears the mask throughout his/her time in a day care setting, masks don’t “tax” or “overexert” their immune systems, thereby leading to greater susceptibility to contracting diseases. In fact, masks are a front-line defense against contracting viruses, especially in enclosed settings.

Before you decide on day care arrangements for your child, it’s always a good idea to reach out to the daycare administrators and staff and discuss some of the information we’ve shared with you. Specifically, ask if the center is compliant with all Federal, State, and local health and safety protocols.

Trust The Experts

When you enroll your child at an MCCA-affiliated daycare in Gaithersburg, the one thing that you – as parents and guardians – may be sure of, is our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of your children. We take that responsibility very seriously, including following all mask-wearing mandates laid out by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), Division of Early Childhood (DEC), Office of Child Care (OCC).

If you wish to know more about the role of masks for young kids, of age 2 or older, you can refer to information provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition to the CDC link referred to earlier in this post, the AAP webpage is a useful resource for parents and guardians looking for definitive guidance on mask-wearing for their young children.

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