חזרה ללימודים בבית הספר גבריאלי בתל אביב
Schoolchildren in masks at Tel Aviv school
Photo: Moti Kimchi
Schoolchildren in masks at Tel Aviv school

Israeli doctors: No masks for kids during heatwave

Israel Pediatric Association says requiring school children to wear masks during scorching temperatures for long hours is 'impractical' and 'a significant burden'; adds effectiveness of masks in preventing coronavirus spread among children is unclear

Dr. Itay Gal |
Published: 05.18.20 , 18:05
School children should not be forced to wear face masks during the hot days of summer despite health regulations meant to prevent coronavirus infections, the Israel Pediatric Association on Monday.
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  • In the statement, the pediatrics association urged the health and education ministries to revoke the Health Ministry order in the wake of the unusual heatwave that hit the country on Sunday.
    חזרה ללימודים בבית הספר גבריאלי בתל אביבחזרה ללימודים בבית הספר גבריאלי בתל אביב
    Schoolchildren in masks at Tel Aviv school
    (Photo: Moti Kimchi)
    "During this current heatwave, requiring children to wear masks for long hours is impractical and a significant burden, masks that get wet from sweat will become ineffective," read the statement. "Therefore, we believe children should be exempt from wearing masks until this heatwave ends."
    According to the association's experts, the effectiveness of face masks in preventing coronavirus spread among children is unclear and there is no evidence in the scientific literature to support the Health Ministry's claims.
    Moreover, most data shows that coronavirus does not spread among children as rapidly as among adults, and the American Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends only teaching staff in schools wears protective masks.
    חוזרים ללימודים בפרדס חנה כרכורחוזרים ללימודים בפרדס חנה כרכור
    Student in Pardes Hanna-Karkur wearing face mask
    (Photo: AFP)
    Also on Monday, Israel has seen no new cases of coronavirus or deaths in a 12-hour period for the first time since the onset of the pandemic. The current COVID-19 death toll stands at 272.
    Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 16,621 people have been infected by the virus in Israel, while 13,014 people have already recovered.
    There are 57 people who are seriously ill, with 47 on ventilators for respiratory assistance.
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