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Science of Masking Kids Isn't Clear

A thorough article on New York Magazine's website looks at the science underlying the rules for masking children, and concludes that there just aren't many studies looking at that variable in isolation. A recent CDC study with a control group actually indicates that masking and classroom barriers don't have any measurable effect. Many experts also worry that the CDC guidelines recommending masking of children don't adequately measure the downsides, such as the need for preschool children to see facial expressions as they learn language and social cues.  The biggest negative effect may be that the argument diverts resources from other measures that current science does support. As the article notes, "One of the costs of an intervention that lacks clear benefit, said the immunologist, is distraction from the tools that we know protect people — in the case of schools, vaccination and ventilation."

The current scientific studies definitely support better ventilation and vaccinating adults around children. Measures that require children to bear the burden of protecting adults has much less support in current science.

One troubling aspect of the CDC and AAP’s guidance for masking children in school, nearly every expert I interviewed said, is that it has no endpoint or specific metrics.

Tags

youth services law, coronavirus, youth serving organization

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