Masks for younger children back in daycare centers

State News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Masks will be required at all childcare and daycare facilities effective Wednesday for children ages 2 years old and up. But that requirement is not sitting well with some parents.

One local doctor talked about the sensitive issue of masking our youngest children.

Alypha Johnson is the owner of Creative Kids Family Daycare in Albany. Johnson says she does everything she can to make sure her daycare is germ-free. But she still isn’t sold on the mask guidance.

“We are in a small space, and it’s hard for the kids to breathe and get around. So I don’t think it’s necessary for them, especially at age two,” said Johnson.

Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Wednesday that all staff, visitors, and children ages 2 and up are required to wear a mask at child care centers.

Although the CDC recommends mask-wearing when you can’t social distance, Johnson says this mandate is hard to enforce with such a small group of kids.

“Our space is so tight, and it’s very intimate for the families. We communicate like a big family, and we stay out of harm’s way, especially the employees,” said Johnson.

One parent, who wanted to remain anonymous, says she’s concerned about her 2-year-old son.

“When my son wears a mask it causes him complete stress to the point where he will have a full meltdown,” said the parent.

Her son has plagiocephaly, which means he had to wear a helmet for months when he was younger. Because of this, his mom says he is traumatized by anything that goes on his head and face.

“This mandate was reversed for a reason the first time, and it needs to be reversed again,” she said.

Dr. James Saperstone from Community Care Pediatrics says there are some concerns as children under the age of 12 aren’t eligible to get the vaccine.

“Daycares are closed units, especially in the winter. The virus can spread faster amongst other children in daycares, so it just makes sense we need to close that barrier,” said Dr. Saperstone.

Dr. Saperstone says the mandate is only temporary until COVID-19 cases go down. While some parents believe getting daycare staff vaccinated and sanitation should be top priorities.

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