The United States’ strict mask guidance for kids goes against policies across much of the globe.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises masking for all schoolkids 2 and older.
That’s earlier than the World Health Organization, European Union, and United Kingdom.
“Kids need to see faces,” Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, told The Post.
Youngsters watch people’s mouths to learn to speak, read and understand emotions, he said.
“We have this idea that this disease is so bad that we must adopt any means necessary to stop it from spreading,” he said. “It’s not that masks in schools have no costs. They actually do have substantial costs.”
The United Kingdom no longer advises masking for students or staff at all. England recommends against masking for anyone younger than 3 for “health and safety reasons.”
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control advises masking “when feasible” for those older than 12 — but recommends against masking for primary-school students, a rep told The Post.
The WHO advises children 5 and under should never be required to mask. “This is based on the safety and overall interest of the child and the capacity to appropriately use a mask with minimal assistance,” the United Nations agency says. Even kids 6 to 11 shouldn’t always mask under the same conditions as adults, under WHO guidance.
Meanwhile, in New York state, all schoolkids must mask.
“Teachers write to me all the time telling me how difficult it is to teach effectively,” Bhattacharya said.
“We’d at least like our 3-year-old to be allowed to take off the mask when he goes out to Central Park for recess,” said one exasperated Manhattan dad, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to be ostracized by posh preschool parents. “We’ve tried to raise the issue with other parents — pointing out the fact that no kids under 6 are masked in Europe or Israel — and you’re met with these polite smiles and nodding and silence, like you’re some crazy Trump Republican.”
The office of Gov. Kathy Hochul — which in one of the first actions of her administration mandated masks for all private and public schools in the state — referred The Post to CDC guidance.
A CDC rep said, in a statement: “Masks work. Last week CDC published three reports that reinforce the importance of following CDC recommendations to limit spread of COVID-19 in K-12 schools including wearing masks indoors and vaccinating all eligible students, teachers, and staff.”