This afternoon, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 164 that requires children ages two and up to wear face masks at all child-care and day camps in all regions (except six and eight). To allow these types of businesses to stay open, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy for health suggested that masks are a must.
“Masks continue to be one of the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, and they can be safely worn by most of us over the age of two,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.
This executive order also requires all staff and children (ages two and up) to wear a face covering on all school transportation. Children ages four and up must wear a face covering in all indoor common spaces along with staff members. All staff and all children 12 and older are required to wear a face covering when in classrooms, homes, cabins, or similar indoor small-group settings.
The governor also suggested that children as young as two years old follow these indoor guidelines.
“COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other,” said Governor Whitmer.
Daycares in the area, like the Children’s Enrichment Center are scrambling to figure out a plan and a training process for staff with this new requirement in place.
“I am at loss, she doesn’t work in daycare, doesn’t know what the heck she’s doing, this is ridiculous, once I get over the first initial shock, then I’ll be able to get a plan together with my staff,” said Owner Deborah Ellis.
Face coverings for children under the age of five years old pose a potential hazard to their health. Some health experts also say that they could be a choking hazard as children touch their masks often to readjust, and they become even more of a health threat.
To avoid discomfort for your child, here are some tips from the experts:
“Pleated face coverings with elastic are likely to work best for kids. Adult cloth face coverings are usually 6x12 inches, and even a child-sized 5x10 inch covering may be too large for small children. Try to find the right size for your child's face and be sure to adjust it for a secure fit,” from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
As Michigan continues to fight this virus by all means necessary, it looks like parents will be adding face coverings to their children’s back-to-school shopping list this year.
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