Pediatricians to parents: Keep your kids masked in school | Inquirer News
PREVENTIVE MEASURE

Pediatricians to parents: Keep your kids masked in school

STILL REQUIRED Students of Apas National High School in Cebu City are back in their classrooms, still wearing face masks, during the start of in-person classes in August. —DALE ISRAEL

(FILE) Students of Apas National High School in Cebu City are back in their classrooms, still wearing face masks, during the start of in-person classes in August. —DALE ISRAEL

Despite a Department of Education (DepEd) order making masks optional in classrooms, pediatricians on Tuesday urged parents to encourage their kids to continue wearing masks in schools as they warned of COVID-19’s long-term effects, such as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children or MIS-C.

In a press briefing held a day after they made public their position paper on the DepEd order, the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) and Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines (PIDSP) said that parents should know the importance of continuing to observe all preventive measures against diseases.

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READ:Wearing a mask in classrooms will be optional – DepEd

“We need to educate [them] about the pros and cons… They should wear masks for the protection of kids and their families,” PPS president Dr. Florentina Ty said.

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PIDSP president Dr. Fatima Gimenez noted that children who contracted COVID-19 could develop serious complications such as MIS-C, a rare disorder linked specifically to COVID-19 wherein organs such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin and eyes become inflamed. “[This] can have dire consequences… That’s what we want to warn people about the consequences of COVID,” Gimenez said.

On Monday, the DepEd clarified that despite its earlier order easing the mask mandate in schools, the decision to wear or not wear a mask would be left to the parents or guardians of students.

“But as far as messaging is concerned, we will stick with [President Marcos’ Executive Order No. 7 which states that] masking is optional. We’re not saying not to wear masks, we’re saying it’s optional so we leave it to the parents or guardians of the learners to tell their children what they need to do,” Michael Poa, DepEd spokesperson, said at a press briefing.

On the eve of the full implementation of in-person classes last week, Poa said that masks would be optional for public school students and personnel despite the reservations of some health experts.

The policy was formalized on Nov. 2 in DepEd Order No. 49, or the amendment to DepEd Order No. 39 regarding health and safety protocols in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. INQ

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TAGS: COVID-19, Masks, pediatricians, Schools
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