Protect children from COVID-19 and “mask shaming”
COVID-19 cases appear to be on the decline in southwest Florida, but hospital systems told Fox 4 they are still seeing more children with the virus.
The Lee County School District allows parents to remove children from its mask mandate, and other districts in Southwest Florida do not require masks. With the decision to wear masks all the way to children and their parents, health experts have said your child could face “mask humiliation.”
“We are now seeing more and more infected and sick children,” said Dr. Frank Esper, pediatric infectious disease specialist for the Cleveland Clinic Children’s.
Dr Esper said it’s important to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to protect your children from the virus. One of these recommendations is to vaccinate children 12 years of age and older. Dr Esper understands parents’ hesitations about shooting, but said it is the best line of defense for your child.
“These vaccines have been shown to be very effective and very safe in children. We are monitoring everyone very closely to make sure there are no serious side effects. But we can tell you the infection is. very serious, so when we balance the benefits and the risks, the benefits far outweigh the risks, “he said.
Whether or not they are vaccinated, the CDC recommends social distancing and wearing masks in school. If your child decides to wear a mask, he may be afraid of being teased by other children. Dr. Vanessa Jensen, a pediatric psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s, has some advice.
“I think there is a lot parents can do to help their kids understand – and maybe that’s a good thing in the wrong wrapper, teaching kids early on that people have different opinions and that every family is different.” said Dr Jensen.
She said parents can coach their children on how to respond. A child may simply say that their parent wants them to wear a mask because they think it is safe. She said if your child asks about why they should wear a mask, explain it in a way they can understand. She said another tip is to behave well for your children; if they see that you accept and respect the opinions of others, they are more likely to be too.
“And if the kids don’t want to wear masks and they say my family says it’s okay not to, the kids can say okay, it’s your family’s choice. I respect “We can still be friends. We can still play. We don’t need to make any big deal,” said Dr Jensen.