Academy of Pediatrics calls for face coverings for kids 2 and older

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics issued new guidelines about children wearing masks, and also when they should be tested for COVID-19.

Academy president Dr. Sally Goza says novel coronavirus is going to be with us for a while, and so should cloth face coverings for kids 2 and older.

In a statement Dr. Goza says "face coverings are a proven, effective way to prevent spread of COVID-19."

And just like strapping kids into car seats or wearing a bicycle helmet, she says kids will adapt and get used to wearing a face covering.

"Generally no health concerns about kids wearing a mask," says Dr. Jonathan Miller, a pediatrician with Nemours duPont hospital for Children.

Dr. Miller says face coverings are safe for most kids, with some rare exceptions, such as kids with development disabilities or significant breathing problems. In those cases, parents should talk to their child's pediatrician.

But overall, something so simple could help protect so many.

"Teachers, bus drivers, daycare workers, we all really need to protect them," Dr. Miller says.

"As we all know, especially in the winter time, kids can have runny noses, snotty noses, slime everywhere on everyone, and having that mask is really going to make a big difference," he adds.

The academy is also offering guidance on when to test kids. It includes when they are showing symptoms, if they've had close contact with someone confirmed to have the infection, and before surgery.

And testing will be even more important during flu season, because a number of flu symptoms overlap with those of COVID-19.
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