SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday recommended that all children over the age of 2 wear masks when returning to school this year, regardless of vaccination status.
The AAP, which said its important for children to return to in-person learning this year, recommends that school staff also wear masks. The AAP is calling the new guidance a “layered approach.”
Sonja O’Leary, chair of the AAP Council on School Health says, “combining layers of protection that include vaccinations, masking and clean hands hygiene will make in-person learning safe and possible for everyone.”
The AAP points to the unvaccinated population of school students as the reason for universal masking. They say it’s hard for schools to determine who is vaccinated as new variants emerge that might spread more easily among children.
However, some SCCPSS parents say another year of masks mandated in the classrooms, won’t work for their kids.
“Wearing a mask should be personal preference. It should be the parents choice or the kids, if they are old enough. My daughter hates wearing the mask and with her speech impairment, it puts her behind so I am clearly against masks for young kids,” explains Emily Johnson, an SCCPSS parent. “The vaccines are also optional and should remain optional, especially for young kids”
Currently, children 12 and over are eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations in the U.S. The FDA said last week that emergency authorization for vaccines for children under 12 could come in early to midwinter.