Keeping kids safe in school– masks edition

Kids are getting sick with Covid like never before.  It’s not cause to panic as pediatric infections still very much tend to be mild,  But, as a numbers game, with this many damn cases of Delta, some kids– and far more than should if our society could be better– will get quite sick.  And since the FDA in its infinite folly seems to be in no rush to protect our under 12’s, it’s up to us as school systems and parents.  Obviously, for school systems, that’s got to be mask mandates.  And, that’s what we’re seeing all through the bluer and better educated systems of the country (like my own, fortunately).  

And, just because it’s related, Jeremy Faust on kids’ hospitalization rates.  Yowza.

But, a mask mandate is really just a good start.  What really helps is getting good masks on kids.  Alas, on that score there’s been a complete abdication of guidance and leadership.  Lots and lots of kids will surely be wearing masks of little benefit in protecting them and minimized benefit in protecting others.  So, what’s a parent to do?  Get the best fitting, decent filtering, mask that your kid will wear for a whole school day.  And here’s a great resource on that.  Also, IAQ expert/professor Alex Huffman has a great twitter thread linking to multiple sources of good information on kids’ masks.  

For what it’s worth, I just ordered these cool Korean KF94‘s for my daughter.  

NYT’s Wirecutter had a recent great feature on recommended kids’ masks.  Of course, every last damn recommendation is sold out (tell me if you have any luck).  

An on-line friend who really knows his air quality/mask stuff, recommended these and says his early-teen daughter swears by them.  Alas, I don’t love the 10-15 business days they currently estimate for shipping.  

Anyway, if you’ve got kids in school, especially unvaccinated younger ones, surely worth some time/money to get the best mask you can for them.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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