Parents, doctor weigh in on sending children to school with face masks

Expert gives advice on helping get kids to wear masks

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Getting children to wear a face mask and keeping it on can be a big challenge, especially as the school year starts because it will be mandatory in many classrooms.

“My daughter will be starting kindergarten in the fall, and we love her teacher, and we love the school, and so one of my main concerns is the health and the safety of the teachers at the schools. So I want to follow their lead on everything,” Dana Kuhnline said.

Kuhnline’s daughter is heading to Parker Woods Montessori. When CPS students head back on August 24 under a blended learning plan, they, along with the teachers and staff, will have to wear masks.

“I would like to send her back, and I think we’ll go ahead and give it a try, the 2 three day split seems like a pretty safe option,” Kuhnline said.

However, some parents tell us they are going to keep their children out of the classroom, opting instead for homeschooling.

“I’m not taking no chances with life. This is life or death out here, and that’s the reality of what’s going on. I’m going to do what I got to do to survive and also the children to survive,” Debra Underwood said.

Dr. Joshua Schaffzin, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Children’s Hospital, says that masks will help keep children safe in the classroom.

“What we’ve learned during this pandemic is that masks work. Masks are effective,” Dr. Schaffzin said. “The broad wearing of masks will prevent asymptomatic transmission, and it will help all of us stay safe at once.”

He says children will take time for kids to adjust to wearing masks and understand why they are important.

“This is a simple mask. It’s made of plain cotton. There’s a number of folks who handed it out. Get you some fabric markers and knock yourself out,” said Dr. Schaffzin.

Here are some tips on how to get children to wear face masks.

“They are pretty willing to wear them. I think it will be a stretch to see if they wear them all day, but I say my daughter doesn’t like to wear shoes at school, but she does, and I think it will be the same with the mask. She’ll push back on it, and then she’ll put it on because she understands it’s about keeping other people safe, and that’s important to her,” Kuhnline said.

Dr. Schaffzin says parents should have practice sessions at home wearing a mask so kids can get used to the feel of it and increase the time each day.

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