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Masks for 2 years old and up?

  • 1.  Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-30-2020 01:02 PM

    Hello, I am the owner of the Montessori and Music daycare center in Mundelein, Illinois. We plan to open our center on June 15th. Many of our parents are concerned about the steps we are about to take to ensure our children have a safe environment, including wearing masks for children 2 years of age and older.

    In any case, I do not see the possibility that children aged 2, 3-5 years old should wear masks, and I do not think that it is not safe for their health (psychological and physical).

    I would like to know what others providers are doing.

    Sincerely Val Gel



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    Val Gelfand
    Montessori and Music Daycare Center
    Mundelein IL
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  • 2.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-30-2020 05:01 PM
    Hi Val,

    I am a teacher at a Lutheran preschool in suburban Chicagoland. My director recently sent out an e-mail saying we would open in the next few weeks, but needed to get a plan approved by DCFS first. I too can't believe that children 2 years old and over are required to wear a mask. I can just imagine a child needing to sneeze and taking off their mask "so they don't get it dirty" or wanting to take it off because they were hot.

    I work with pre-kindergartners and there is no way that this will be feasible, let alone with 2-year-olds. You can tell that someone in an office with no daycare experience wrote these rules.

    When my school reopens, I will do my best to have my children wear the required masks, and will speak about the reasons for the masks and why we need to wear them, but will not get upset if they feel the need to take it off. They are very little and the wearing of masks around teachers and friends is difficult enough physically and emotionally.

    I am not even sure how many children are returning to our school. Our director is still checking the numbers. I'm a little nervous, because she said she was getting a "duty roster" ready for all the teachers. Who knows, non-floating teachers may be needed in other areas, such as in the kitchen.

    Right now, everything is up in the air. I do not know what changes will be made in the foreseeable future. I heard that my hours may be changed also.

    Good luck on your re-opening! I wish my school was re-opening as quickly as yours. :(




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    Jennifer Illinois
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  • 3.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-30-2020 05:21 PM
    Thank you very much, Jennifer, for your Letter and comments, we are here in the same situation.

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    Val Gelfand
    Montessori and Music Daycare Center
    Mundelein IL
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  • 4.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-31-2020 08:02 AM

    Hi Val,

    I agree that it isn't wise to make such young kiddos wear masks. On the flip side, I know this virus is extremely contagious and dangerous to the kiddos and elderly. Kids tend to touch everything, and then haven't developed a complete awareness of then avoiding touching their faces.

    if your building and programs are hard set on opening so soon, I would suggest using the opportunity to have the kiddos help make their own masks within the first week of returning. Although cotton and such is preferred, the main concept is to have a barrier between the nose and mouth. They could take part in designing their own dragon-like mask, or a pretty patterned mask. It can be made out of cardboard or some other material. The more involved they are in making it their own, the more likely they are to wear it.

    Being outside also presents an opportunity to not have to wear a mask. The viral droplets are not small enough to just hang suspended in the air for extended periods of time. Sure, inhaling a fresh sneeze is a risk, but just teach good hygiene and awareness. Not to mention, fresh air is good for a developing immune system!

    Hopefully this helps and gives you some more good ideas!



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    Jessica Gilham
    NREMT, Educator
    Naperville, IL
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  • 5.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-31-2020 09:23 AM
    Hello!

    I am a teacher at a school in the MD/DC/VA area.  Our current thinking is that we would "recommend" that children use masks, but not "require" them to do so.  In our school some teachers are in a higher risk demographic or have underlying health conditions, so I can understand how in order for us to keep our students and families safe, especially when working in enclosed, indoor spaces such as classrooms, it is important for everyone to wear masks.  It might not be practical, but keeping teachers safe and protected to the best of our abilities, is absolutely necessary to provide the best education and care for our students.  This is a very complicated issue with many moving parts.  I hope we will all learn more in the next several weeks.


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    Denise Kotek
    St Andrews Episcopal School
    Potomac MD
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  • 6.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-31-2020 10:07 AM
    In Rhode Island our state has determined that in child care programs children will not be required to wear masks.  It was determined that it was not necessary,appropriate or in many cases possibleby with preschool children. .  Teachers will wear them.

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    Sue Connor
    consultant
    Riverside RI
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  • 7.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 05-31-2020 02:51 PM
    Hi Val,
    I am a preschool director out here in Pasadena Ca.  You can make a recommendation in your preschool policy for kids to wear face masks, however you cannot force a child.  "child's right"  Our licensing paper work is LIC 613 A in Ca.  Think of it as the same as nap time, you cannot force them to nap. I hope this helps.  You can double check with your licensing analyst in your local state.
    Arpy

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    Arpy Jahjah
    Pasadena CA
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  • 8.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 06-01-2020 01:27 AM
    Hello Val,

    My name is Mary Robinson-Banks, owner of my group daycare, Learn-in-Play Daycare, located in Chester, PA. I have been open since March 23, 2020, for essential workers and will resume servicing all parents on June 15. I have found the masks are more of a headache because you now have to watch for them touching the cover resulting in the need to wash their hands and trace steps to disinfect what they have touched. Before COVID-19, I kept masks on hand for those who would have uncontrollable coughs and refuse to avoid coughing into the air. I will continue with this method.

    We have to be their masks and observe and monitor their coughs, sneezes, runny noses, and temperatures closer. I am acclimating them to assigned seats. We have talked about personal space in the past; now, it is a must-have conversation and reminder. The younger children do not understand the daily need; however, they do know if they are sick, the mask is a must. To the children, the covers are like dress-up clothes; they become bored and take them off. Maybe, when all have returned, they will want to mimic the older children and keep them on.

    The distancing is our focus and is working well. Currently, I have two children, 3rd shift, siblings, four children, 2nd shift two sets of siblings, and they are cousins. The weekend I have two siblings. When the nonessential only child returns 1st shift, I have his spot at the opposite end of the table from one set of siblings because they are friends. The other nonessentials are older school age, and they attend on the weekend, and they are accustomed to wearing their masks and already practice social distancing.

    I have implemented the no outside shoes inside. Parents are required to leave a pair of shoes at the daycare for the child(ren) to change into when they arrive and working with full cooperation. I have the blue shoe covers for adults that need to enter the premises.

    Since March 23, 2020, the parents have been doing curbside drop off and pick up and wait while I check the child(ren) temperature. In the event the parent needs to come close, they must wear their mask. I do my healthy verbal check-in when they call and say they are en route.

    I feel I have implemented enough changes and tweakings for their young minds to handle. To separate nonessential from essential was a devastating thought for me to execute. I was empathetic and went though feelings of "why can't I sit next to or play with my friend?" Then to add the must wear the mask and "do not touch the mask,"  Was a stressful thought; I feel it is too much stress for the developing minds.

    I hope this helps with your planning. Good luck with your opening.

    Mary

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    Mary Robinson-Banks
    Owner
    Learn-In-Play Day Care
    Chester PA
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  • 9.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 06-01-2020 05:10 PM
    Hi Mary,

    I love how well thought out your plan for preventing coronavirus  is! I also liked the fact that you used masks for uncontrollable coughs before the virus. I'm sure you were able to avoid less sick days and children's absences from this in the past. Such an incredible idea.

    Great idea to separate children in this way also. It may not be ideal, but it is effective to prevent disease.

    The idea about the shoes is ingenious! Love the shoe covers idea also.

    I am sharing your suggestions with my director! Thank you so much for providing this well-detailed information.

    Chester, PA sounds like where I might be moving soon! :)

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    Jennifer Illinois
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  • 10.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 06-02-2020 10:00 AM
    Hi Mary:

    Thank you for this very detailed response.  It is very helpful.  If a child has an accident at school and needs to be changed, do teachers wear PPE to do that?  We are looking to open, hopefully, in September here.  I truly appreciate the insight you already have.

    Odette Muskin
    The Town School
    NY, NY

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    Odette Muskin
    Head of the N-K Division
    The Town School
    New York NY
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  • 11.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 06-03-2020 07:14 PM
    Hello. My name is Majoria Francis, Director of LMCC in Lauderhill, Florida.
    It is going to be difficult for two year old children to wear a mask, knowing how uncomfortable it will be for them. I would ask their parents for a photograph of their little ones to put on the table so each child would be assigned to their own seat. I would make sure that the children wash their hands frequently and also encourage them to wear their masks.

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    Majoria Francis
    Director
    Little Masters Child Care Center
    Lauderhill FL
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  • 12.  RE: Masks for 2 years old and up?

    Posted 06-01-2020 12:56 PM
    Hi Val,

    I am a teacher at Joy Picus Child Development Center in Los Angeles, CA and we have told parents that we are not requiring children to use face-masks. If a family prefers it,their child is welcome to come into the school with one on, but if the child chooses to remove it we will place it in a ziplock bag and will not attempt to place it back on. The child must be willing to do so on their own. Our director does NOT believe children should have to wear masks since we are already abiding by strict hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing in the classroom, individual stations or portioned play-dough for individual use for example. Children need more air than  adults do so intentionally creating a barrier for breathing effectively is 100% not in the cards for what we are implementing at our center.

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    Crystal Peralta Palacios
    Azusa CA
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