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Face masks- Does my child need one for school?

Pupils in class
  • Date published:

  • Author: jasminefeakes

Primary schools are now open to all year groups.

They are making changes to meet the social distancing and hygiene requirements, which means the routines and environment will be different for the children returning.

This will be a worrying time of change for lots of parents and children, and the subject of masks is something many parents have questions about.

You might be wondering why you have not been advised to send your child to school wearing a face covering when the advice for adults is to wear a mask or face covering while indoors when social distancing will be difficult such as in shops and other enclosed spaces. And when face coverings are mandatory on public transport from 15th June. Government advice can be found here. 

In some areas, local authorities may advise that parents wear a face covering while on the school grounds.

Parents are advised NOT to send their child to school wearing a face covering or mask. This is because, when not used correctly, they can actually increase the risk of infection. Expecting a young child to be able to manage their face covering for a full school day is an unrealistic expectation.

For example, a child that is hot and uncomfortable in a mask will touch it and pull it down for comfort and to aid communication with others. This would increase the risk of passing any potential infection from the outside of the mask to their hands and on to others in the environment.

Public Health England recommend that the best way to reduce the risk of infection is by maintaining 2 metre social distance with people outside of your household and washing hands more often for 20 seconds.

Check out our tips on how to make handwashing effective and fun.

Your child’s school will have put in place procedures to support your child in maintaining good hand washing practice while at school.

 

Wearing face masks or coverings in other settings

The government has announced that from Monday 15 June 2020, anyone visiting a hospital either as a visitor or as an outpatient will need to wear a face covering. This is because the latest scientific evidence shows that people who are infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms, and can therefore spread the virus without realising.

If you or a member of your family is visiting hospital, you will need to wear a face covering. This will help to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus and help keep everyone safe. Face coverings are different to face masks in that they can be homemade, made of cloth, and be reusable. If you don’t have one, hospital staff will provide one for you when you arrive.

Family members can wear a face covering when being visited in the home by a health professional. There are some people who wont be able to wear a mask due to health conditions. Children under the age of 3 should NOT wear a mask or face covering.

Health professionals will assess each home visit for coronavirus related risks.

If your child is going to be seen in school by a school nurse, they will need to wear a mask for the appointment. The nurse who will see your child will talk to you about this first.

 

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