Why do children get sick even after wearing a mask?

Why do children get sick even after wearing a mask?


  •  In practice, social distancing is almost impossible to enforce among young children because of how they socialize with one another, including running around together and playing contact games. Therefore, the risk of infections spreading from person to person is significantly heightened among children. 
  • Children should be given the influenza vaccine because it can play a part in strengthening their immune system. Additionally, a child with vitamin deficiencies should be taking vitamin C supplements, as well as adhering to new normal health and safety guidelines to protect themselves against illness and disease. 

It has happened again – a new term and your child has already fallen ill, meaning they require time off school to recover. This is a common concern among parents who can be left feeling hopeless because, despite their child wearing a mask and washing their hands regularly as well as adhering to the school’s new normal health and safety guidelines, their little one has somehow managed to get sick. Even schools which strictly enforce measures – such as wearing masks, taking temperatures to screen for fever prior to entering school grounds, and having physical barriers between pupils – still manage to send children home with a sickness of some form. 

To what extent do masks protect us from disease?

Although schools have been practicing new normal health and safety measures – including physical distancing, regular handwashing, the wearing of face masks or even physical barriers between classroom tables – parents are still finding that their children are coming home with an illness. 

Why are children getting sick despite wearing a mask?

  1. Children do not always wear their masks, especially when outside playing with friends, where they may remove the mask to make breathing easier. The issue of removing masks is particularly prevalent among younger children, who may not be used to the apparatus, which only increases their risk of inhaling germs. 
  2. Social distancing or physical distancing is practically impossible in very young children, who enjoy nothing more than getting close to their friends, running around with one another, and playing contact games. All of this means it is no surprise that germs and disease are spread so easily between these groups. 
  3. The weather also plays a part, especially during the rainy season which, combined with windy weather, makes it much easier for diseases to spread. You could go as far as to say that germs and diseases thrive in such conditions which can help them grow and multiply. 
  4. Childhood congenital health conditions, such as allergies, are especially prevalent in the rainy season and can play a crucial role in the onset of symptoms. 

Protecting your child from illnesses

  1. If your child is feeling unwell – however minor their symptoms may seem – with a cough, sneeze, runny nose or a temperature over 37.5⁰ Celsius, it is important that you keep them off school and take them to see a doctor. Then, before your child is allowed back to school, you must be sure that they have made a full recovery because rushing them back while their immune system is still weak could lead to a repeat illness. Alternatively, where the illness is still symptomatic, it could easily be spread to other children. 
  2. In cases of children with congenital health conditions, such as allergies, which can result in a blocked and runny nose, you should notify your child’s teacher, or bring a doctor’s certificate to school, so that the relevant parties can be made aware that this is a regular issue and not related to Covid-19 in any way. This will ensure peace of mind among parents, teachers, and anyone else connected to the child’s education. 
  3. Vaccinations are important, so all parents should take their child to receive them regularly, especially when they are still very young. For example, an influenza vaccine administered over 6 months previously should be given again to boost immunity to that disease. 
  4. Vitamins and dietary supplements can help boost a child’s immunity (children who already eat fruit regularly may not require supplements). If parents are unsure of their child’s dietary needs, they should seek advice from a pediatrician or childhood nutritionist. 

Illness or disease (whether in children or adults) is entirely natural as it is impossible to prevent all germs from entering the body. Nevertheless, it is vital that you as parents do all you can to help strengthen your child’s immune system. This means ensuring they eat a healthy, balanced diet consisting of the 5 main food groups in moderation; reminding them to exercise outdoors to make sure they receive vitamin D contained in sunlight; monitoring to check if they are sleeping properly; and generally taking good care of their personal hygiene

Moreover, during these difficult and unprecedented times, it is important that you remind your child to wear a face mask whenever they leave the home, wash their hands regularly with soap or alcohol-based gels - at the very least before and after meals, and avoid crowded areas. These simple steps could help keep your child fit, healthy and free from disease. 

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