The Chief Medical Officer is recommending that children aged 9 years and over wear masks in school from today.
The Healthcentre Longwood fully supports this: indeed, children under 9 years can wear masks safely and effectively. While children with special needs can be exempted from this, there is no reason why a child with asthma or other respiratory difficulties should not wear a mask. Indeed, these children are recommended to use a mask to prevent them getting infected with COVID19.
We will not be providing certificates for children to let a school know that a child is asthmatic or has another condition: we are extremely busy at the moment managing patients presenting with covid symptoms, non-covid care, chronic disease management , vaccinations, and all the other issues which we deal with in General Practice every day: we simply do not have the time to prepare these certs which are unnecessary except in exceptional circumstances.
Like everything , masks will take time to get used to if children are not familiar with using them already: we expect that schools will be considerate of this and they know the pupils in their school communities so well that we do not expect that there will be issues with it.
We recommend that parents try a variety of masks for their children so that they can have a mask that is comfortable, snug-fitting, and safe.
TYPES OF MASKS
We do not recommend scarf-masks as their efficacy is not proven. While face coverings (two or three layers of fabric) can be useful in preventing some infection, we recommend surgical face coverings as they are superior. FFP2 / N95 masks are tighter-fitting and are better at preventing transmission of infection, but they take time to get used to and we suggest that children wear them in other settings for short periods of time before wearing them for a full day.
Please do not ring reception to discuss this, as the phones are exceptionally busy, and reception staff have been instructed to direct callers to the website.
Many thanks for your understanding.
Dr Cliona Lewis