Due to the widespread virus COVID-19, Boone County Missouri issued several recurring ordinances requiring everyone 10 years of age and older to wear a mask when around people who are not household members as well as when visiting public spaces like grocery stores and offices. But can wearing a mask really make a difference?
Why Should You Wear a Mask?
Just as covering your mouth when you sneeze helps stop the spread of germs, wearing a mask can make a big difference in how far a virus can travel. Let’s look at a few reasons why leading scientists and researchers across the world recommend everyone above the age of two wear a mask while out of the home.
Masks Reduce Viral Transmission
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization now recommend cloth masks for the general public. When worn properly, masks decrease how far respiratory droplets can be propelled while a person is talking, singing, coughing, etc. This means more germs that cause infectious diseases like COVID-19 are stopped from spreading from person to person.
Masks Prevent Asymptomatic Spread
The CDC estimates 50% of transmissions happen before people develop any COVID-19 symptoms. An easy way to reduce the risk of unknowingly spreading the infection is to wear a mask, along with social distancing and good hand hygiene.
In Some States, Masks are Mandated by Law
As there is no national ordinance or mandate requiring face masks, each state and county can implement these rules as they deem necessary. In Boone County, failure to comply with this ordinance can result in a minimal fee for individuals, or a larger fee for business, government, or non-profit entities.
Are There Any Exceptions to Who Should Wear a Mask?
Masks should not be worn by children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has extreme respiratory issues, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Some Autistic children also may not be required to wear a mask, depending on each individual case.
Be an Example to Your Children by Wearing a Mask
You can relieve the fears children may have of wearing a mask by simply wearing one yourself. Show your children how to properly wear a mask, making sure they know how to position it to cover both their nose and mouth, and this will give them the knowledge to understand how easy it is to wear a mask.
Reassure your children by letting them know that by wearing a mask they are helping not only themselves but everyone they come into contact with. Be honest about the seriousness of the situation while providing them with practical and easy solutions to help ease some of the anxiety and tension they may have.
Here at Tiger Pediatrics, we have seen kids as young as 2 years old comfortably wearing masks in our office. This is due to the patience and example set by the adults in their lives. Thank you to all those who are doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Wearing a mask makes a difference. You make a difference.
If you have specific questions about how to wear a mask, or if your child should be wearing a mask, contact us at 573-777-7627.