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Verify: Are masks necessary for children?

Some parents said masks are unnecessary and harmful to younger kids and those with medical conditions or special needs. So we put our Verify team to work on this.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We are verifying some social media statements surrounding the ongoing masks controversy. Some parents took their frustrations to social media. Some said masks are unnecessary and harmful to younger kids or those with medical conditions and special needs. So we put our Verify team to check these statements out.

In July, when the CDC recommended schools require all students and staff who are unvaccinated to wear masks, the American Academy of Pediatrics took it a step further and suggested everyone wear masks above the age of two.

However, every school district has been responding differently. On July 20, Shelby county schools recently announced it will require everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. While Germantown Municipal School District and Desoto County Schools will not require masks in the building.

As districts announce new guidelines, Local 24 has read statements on social media from non-medical professionals, stating a child's risk to COVID-19 is low, and masks are not safe for some students for health reasons. News Reporter Brittni Clemons found these statements are not true 

Our sources:

1. CDC  

2. The American Academy of Pediatrics

3.  Allergy and Asthma Network

4. Doctor Debra Tuner, a specializing nurse practitioner who has been working with COVID-19 long-haulers at the Stern Cardiovascular Foundation. 

AAP said kids are more at risk for covid than previously thought. In fact, 38,654 cases were added to the total number of child cases from July 15 through July 22. For the week of July 29, 72,000 cases were added. The cumulative number of children that had COVID-19 as of July 29 is 4,198,296. Also, it is worth mentioning the CDC last month told a senate committee COVID-19 is a threat to children. So we can say it’s false to assume a child's risk for COVID-19 is low.

But some parents still think masks should be optional for health care reasons. Doctor Turner said with COVID positivity rates increasing to more than 13 percent as of August 2, masks are a barrier from spreading the virus. She said parents with special needs children can have maks specially made.

For children with Asthma, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology said there’s no evidence proving face masks can worsen your asthma. Their study found asthmatic people who wore a mask maintained an oxygen level of 98%. So, we can verify this too is false. Masks do not cause greater harm to children even if they’re at greater risk for health reasons.

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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