NPHET Recommends Children Wear...


NPHET Recommends Children Wear Masks In School

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

09:19 25 Nov 2021

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Children over the age of nine are to be asked to wear masks in school, shops and on public transport.

Following its meeting today, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is to recommend to Government that children should also avoid community gatherings for the next two weeks.

It's also recommending children avoid birthday parties, sleep-overs and communions for the next fortnight.

The advice will be considered by Government before it becomes official policy.

But one teacher says she believes mandating mask wearing in primary schools would have a 'drastic effect' on younger children.

Emer O'Neill, who also co-hosts The Today Show on RTÉ, says this would be akin to putting a muzzle on a child.

"I just feel the mask wearing for kids in the primary school setting: I honestly think that would have a really drastic impact on them.

"At least they themselves can look at each other and see each other's faces and smiles and facial expressions."

She says this'll add to what they already have to deal with.

"It's going to be hard to try and erase this period of time from their mind anyway, but to drag in the idea of mask-wearing every single day in school as well I just think it will have a drastic effect on them.

"I can see, obviously, the benefits COVID-wise and trying to keep this at bay.

"I have really mixed feelings about this to be honest".

And she believes shy students would be the most affected by this change.

"In a way, you're nearly putting a muzzle on a child.

"So if you have a child who doesn't maybe regularly speak out in class - that almost feels like they have hand over their mouth - cause they're nervous maybe to give their answer... you're actually putting a pysical limitation on them now as well."

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