In this article we’ll examine the subject of children and face masks. We’ll talk about why some people believe it’s a good idea for kids to wear face masks, and also consider the emerging evidence that indicates face masks may be doing more harm than good for our children.
To be clear, I am NOT suggesting that YOU or your child not wear a mask if you prefer to do so, instead I am advocating that masks not be REQUIRED for the reasons presented herein.
Hello, Friends, I’m Mike – you may know me as That Helpful Dad. I like giving people helpful tips on how to live a better life. Mostly I write about everyday slice of life topics like BBQ’g, watching tv online, and having fun with family, but today I’m tackling a serious issue – the possibility that constantly wearing a face mask may be HARMFUL to our children.
- I am not a medical doctor, I don’t pretend to be one, and I’m not here to give you medical advice.
- I DO believe that we should respect the Coronavirus and that families should take precautions to protect themselves.
- The information presented here today is intended to provide examples of dissenting opinions vs mainstream media’s one-sided narrative on this topic. I encourage you to NOT just take my word for everything and instead do your own research – the text you see in BLUE is linked to the articles/references that support the statements made below – click the link and do your own research by looking at the references and medical papers for yourself. Make your own decisions about what’s best for your family.
Why Are Kids Wearing Face Masks?
If you’ll recall, in the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic we were told that children were perhaps the most dangerous aspect of The Covid-19 situation because they were deemed to be ‘superspreaders’ who were going to help the virus spread like wildfire and that they were “going to overwhelm the healthcare system.”
After all, that’s why schools had to be shut down and kids had to be quarantined – that’s why our little league season was cancelled, that why Cub Scouts was stopped, that’s why Disney World was closed and that’s why school switched to virtual.
We were told, “Just like with the flu each year or a stomach bugs, school kids are superspreaders and we must protect society against them.”
We were also told…”Kids who seem healthy may be more contagious than sick adults.”
However, as time went on and new medical evidence emerged, it turned out this simply was not true.
Wait, The Kids are NOT Superspreaders?
New medical evidence has emerged that shows that not only are kids NOT getting sick from The Covid, but that apparently kids are NOT the superspreaders they were initially believed to be.
Here is data from the StatsIQ Covid-19 School Response Analytics Dashboard that captures data from nearly 20,000 schools in the US. Here is the dashboard as of Nov 8, 2020. As you can see in the chart, data from over 8.6 million kids is being captured – of that nearly 4 million students are attending in-person learning and the overall student case rate is still just 17 per 100,000.
The positive case rate for kids at school is 0.017% (that’s NOT 17% that’s 0.017% which is far less than 1%).
Even for staff members the infection rate is low at only 0.027%
What’s this mean? Kids and schools are NOT superspreaders.
It’s also become clear that kids, unless they have a special negative underlying condition, do not appear to be at much risk of getting sick from Coronavirus at all – certainly very few are dying from it. In fact, in Sept 2020, the CDC updated their infection-fatality rates to show that for children 0-19, there is a 99.997% chance they will survive a Covid-19 infection.
So to be clear, almost no kids are not getting sick from Coronavirus and they don’t appear to be spreading it like was initially suspected, yet we are still forcing kids to wear masks? Why?
Elephant in the Room – Daycares?
Why is nobody talking about what’s happening at daycares? I didn’t realize this until my wife pointed it out, but apparently (except for a couple weeks in March at the height of the Coronavirus panic) our local daycares in Florida have actually been remained open! On top of that the daycare children were NOT wearing masks. What gives?
How can this be allowed? After all, if Coronavirus is so deadly that we had to lockdown our world, and if children are the superspreaders they were suspected to me, and if daycares are the breeding ground of infections galore that we know them to be, then how in the world are daycare kids not wearing masks?
Aren’t these kids the most dangerous superspreaders of all to our society?
And yet, if you do a google search, you’ll see that most daycares in the US don’t require masks for kids under 2, 3, or 5 depending on the location.
It appears this is often due to ‘practical’ reasons – for example, young kids have trouble keeping their masks on and the act of wearing a mask is not innate for children.
So society allows daycare kids to avoid mask mandates – and lo and behold daycares are NOT triggering Covid-19 outbreaks. Go figure.
Even today in my town in Florida, daycares remain open, kids don’t wear masks, and there are no outbreaks as a result.
Here’s what things look like in Florida from a Covid-19 perspective overall.
In Florida, despite schools and daycares being open, hospitals are not getting overwhelmed. We have a better understanding of the virus and doctors are now more confident in being able to help people. We have the resources in terms of hospital ICU space, ventilators, and trained staff. We also have proven pharmaceutical interventions that are helping more people recover. Yes, the virus is contagious and people are being infected with it, but we can help them recover too – just like we do with the flu, or a cold, or any number of other ailments.
Do Face Masks Really Work?
Although mainstream media may want us to believe that all doctors believe face masks work and that every scientific paper supports face masks as being effective as stopping the spread of Covid-19, the fact is that this is NOT true.
I published a separate article that is collecting all known medical evidence and analytical data from verifiable medical professionals and gov’t analytic sources. You can read that article here...
Here is a summary of that article…
Summary of SUPPORT for Face Masks
- There is ONE piece of medical evidence that SUPPORTS the use of face masks vs Covid-19
- There are SIX pieces of medical evidence that SUPPORTS the use of face masks vs other respiratory conditions
- There is a wide variation of effectiveness of face masks vs respiratory conditions depending on the TYPE of face mask used, it’s fit, user compliance, and mask cleanliness.
- Two members of the US Coronavirus Task Force (Dr Fauci & Dr Birx), as well as the US Surgeon General, and the US CDC all recommend the use of face masks vs Covid-19. World leaders from countless countries are advocates the use of face masks.
Summary AGAINST Face Masks
- There are FIVE pieces of medical evidence that indicates face masks do NOT work to stop the spread of Covid-19
- There are TEN pieces of medical evidence that could not find a benefit to the use of face masks vs other respiratory conditions and some even found potential harm.
- Former US Coronavirus Task Force Member Dr Scott Atlas is against the use of face masks.
- 37,500+ Medical Doctors and 12,500+ Medical & Public Health Scientists have signed The Great Barrington Declaration which advocates for building herd immunity without the use of masks, lockdowns, etc for the general public, and particularly for school-age children.
- In chart after chart, the analytics of Covid-19 cases and deaths from around the world clearly show that face masks are NOT working to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The bottom line is that there is NOT universal agreement that face masks work to prevent Covid19.
And if most kids are not wearing the type of mask that may work (i.e. the N95 mask) then why are we trying to make masks mandatory for kids?
Are Face Masks Potentially Harmful to Kids?
We’ve already talked about kids being at low risk for Covid-19 and NOT being the superspreaders they were initially thought to be. We’ve already talked about the evidence that indicates most face masks don’t really work to stop Coronavirus spread. Now let’s talk about the possibility that face masks may actually be doing more harm than good.
There is growing evidence to suggest that constant face mask wearing is potentially causing harm to adults and children and this is such an important topic that I’ve written a separate article about it. You can read it here...
As you can see in that article, a few of the major concerns with constant face mask wearing for adults and kids from a PHYSICAL HEALTH perspective, including…
- face masks may inhibit the process of breathing;
- face masks may reduce oxygen intake and which may in turn reduce your immunity;
- face masks may increase anxiety, fatigue and brain fog, and this may decrease learning capacity;
- face masks become breeding grounds for unhealthy pollutants;
- face masks may force you to rebreathe all the bad stuff your lungs were trying to get rid of;
- face masks may cause underlying health problems to become worse;
- face masks ARE delaying the development of herd immunity.
As far as kids go, from a MENTAL HEALTH perspective there are numerous other problems with face masks, as noted in this article…
- Forcing kids to keep their mouth and nose covered can cause them anxiety, feelings of panic, dizziness, and even OCD, and they may begin to associate these feelings with their mask which further exacerbates the problem.
- Some kids may begin to feel trapped or claustrophobic wearing their masks
- Covering their faces changes the way kids look, which may cause negative feelings around their identity or body image.
- Having certain materials touching your skin might feel very hard to cope with (sensory overload) – which may be a problem for kids with autism and similar health challenges.
- If kids wear glasses, they might get fogged up and make it harder for them to see what’s being taught in the classroom – this may add to feelings of being overwhelmed.
- Masks are a visual reminder of Covid-19, so seeing masks might make kids feel on edge or unable to relax. It might seem like danger is everywhere to them.
- Seeing people covering their faces might make kids feel uneasy or scared of others. They might seem threatening, sinister, or dehumanized.
- On the other hand, kids may get confused when they see people around them NOT wearing masks. This could cause children to feel anxious or upset. Meanwhile, if a child is exempt from wearing a mask or their family doesn’t believe in the value of masks, that child might feel very anxious about being judged, shamed or stigmatized in public.
As noted by this article, “mask mandates for anyone over the age of 2, seem misguided, especially when applied to younger grades. A quick review of the Mayo Clinic’s suggestions for how to properly wear a face mask makes it clear why younger grades cannot effectively wear cloth masks, which means the masks will not produce the desired benefits.
If young children cannot wear masks correctly, the costs of a mask mandate for schools by far outweigh the benefits, which are already miniscule at best.AIER: “Masking Kids: Safety without Efficacy”
Furthermore, wearing masks also prevents children from picking up on social cues from their peers – increasing the risk of “turning friendly faces into Anonymous Others.”
In the classroom setting, when teachers wear masks they lose important non-verbal communication tools. As noted in this article, when “a local kindergarten teacher confessed that she can’t imagine using her stern voice, teaching children classroom discipline, without her positive facial expressions, to let them know they are loved. She fears what it means to continue on with instruction without the full complement of her toolset.”
Mask mandates and a 6-foot distance may be reasonable recommendations for vulnerable populations, but they are unreasonable standards for kids who are unlikely to spread or die from the virus.AIER: “Masking Kids: Safety without Efficacy”
Is there another way?
As noted by a growing number of scientists around the world, lockdowns and face masks DELAY the development of herd immunity. This is important because without herd immunity or a reliable vaccine, we may never get rid of Covid-19!
The Great Barrington Declaration is from a collection of infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists who do NOT recommend masks and instead suggest that we can defeat Covid19 with “Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold.”
Where schools are concerned the GBD scientists state that “Online learning is not a good substitute for in-person teaching. For normal development, children have a strong need to socialize with other children, to make friends, and to play with one another…Masks and social distancing IMPEDE these critically important normal activities. Schools are also the main point of contact with care systems and provide a refuge for disadvantaged children. Furthermore, the risk from dying from becoming infected by COVID-19 is for children is very low – lower than the risk of dying from the seasonal flu.”
The Great Barrington Declaration also goes on to say that…
- Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching – without masks.
- Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed – without masks.
- People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity – without masks.
What’s it like where I live?
My family, my local community, and my state (Florida) have been living a mostly mask-free lifestyle since June and there have been no Covid-19 outbreaks. Our kids went to summer camps, our kids are in live school, our kids play with other neighborhood kids, our kids play live sports (baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and more), we go out to eat in cafes with our kids, we go to the beach with our kids, we go to parties with friends indoors and out, and I’ve been to live events where the crowd is over 10,000 people packed together like this one…
We are living life 99% of the time WITHOUT MASKS.
And guess what…people are not getting sick, people are not dropping dead, and we are thriving!
The only time we wear masks is when we are sadly ‘required’- which at present is when entering/leaving a restaurant, in class at school, and for those businesses that require it. At all other times we do not wear masks – and contrary to what others would have you believe nobody is getting sick or dropping dead in the suburbs.
You can read more about my local story here…
Kids and Masks – The Bottom Line
With a 99.997% infection-survival rate for school age children and the fact that children are NOT superspreaders of Covid-19, it seems that Face Masks appear to far more dangerous to kids than the Coronavirus is!
Maybe it’s time we stop forcing our kids to wear face masks and start letting kids be kids again…