Will Children Have to Wear Masks at School?

After children return to in-person classes, will masks be a part of the new normal?

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It's a hot topic of conversation among parents and teachers: Should children over 2 wear masks at school?

"I think that's kind of ridiculous, for kids to be wearing masks," one parent said Wednesday.

"I think they should absolutely have to wear masks in school," said another parent, Tony Maimone. "It's better than not being in school or taking a risk of getting each other sick."

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control released recommendations for reopening schools during the pandemic.

They say masks aren't required, but should be "taught and encouraged," and they say each school should be guided by what is feasible and practical to each community.

Karen Lowe is a teacher and a mom, and she says we need to find a way to get kids back in school.

"As a teacher, I'm actually managing a lot of kids right now who are having a lot of social and emotional breakdowns because of the Zooming, and I think they need to be around other children and they need their teachers to support them," she said.

NBC10 Boston also checked in with a pediatrician in Peabody, Massachusetts, who admits getting little kids to wear face coverings could be a challenge.

"Like anything else, the more you kind of present it as the norm, the more they get used to it," said Dr. Tony Giordano of Pediatric Health Care Associates. "We've tried it a couple times with my 3-year-old, and she's actually been pretty good about it the past few times, keeping it on, and I think part of it is that … They see us wearing them."

Giordano says the face coverings may be uncomfortable, but they don't pose any health issues — even for long amounts of time — for healthy children over the age of 2.

"People can sometimes feel like it's uncomfortable, but you're not going to pass out from lack of oxygen or anything like that," he said. "Worst case scenario, if you got a kid with really, really bad reactive airways, like reactive asthma, if you're at camp or anywhere else, you want to have that inhaler with you, which you would be doing anyway, if you had a kid [who's] really severely asthmatic."

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