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Mask Mythbusters: Five Common Misconceptions about Kids & Cloth Face Coverings

Submitted by Dr. John Maddox, Pediatrician, Pentucket Medical/ Haverhill

1.        Can wearing a mask make it harder for my child to breathe?

Recommended cloth face coverings do not block the exchange of oxygen or carbon dioxide.  The vast majority of children age 2 or older can safely wear a cloth face covering for extended periods of time; this includes children with many medical conditions.  Begin now having your child wear masks at home.  Start with short periods, when they are doing their favorite activities, and gradually increase the length of time, so they get used to it.  All schools will offer mask breaks.

2.       Can masks themselves spread germs?

Masks get damp over time, from the same respiratory droplets that spread COVID, flu and other germs, so face coverings should washed regularly.  It is important to have cloth face coverings that fit a child’s face well, so that they are not tampering with the mask.  You should perform hand hygiene before and after touching your face covering.

3.       Can a child with special health care needs, like the autism spectrum, wear a mask?

Some children will need extra attention to the way a mask feels and fits and smells.  Some kids will benefit from strategies like Social Story (see below), which help explain new situations with both descriptions and directives.  Schools are prepared for some students with special needs to be unable to wear masks full-time right away.  Occupational therapists and applied behavior therapists will work with students to teach them new and important skills.

4.      Should a kid wear a mask during sports?

Cloth face coverings help young athletes protect their teammates and themselves.  They also help protect the sports season.  Whenever safe and possible, athletes should wear a cloth face covering.  This includes on the sideline bench, in team chats and going to and from the field.  Exceptions include when they are actively exercising.

5.       Do masks really prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Cloth face coverings are one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID, flu and other germs.  Very early on in the pandemic, there was concern about having enough masks for health care workers, so widespread mask use was discouraged.  However, it is very clear now that states, communities, and schools that have contained COVID— despite imperfect social distancing, ventilation and hand hygiene— have used cloth face coverings to prevent spread, even in asymptomatic people.

 

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Cloth-Face-Coverings-for-Children-During-COVID-19.aspx

https://www.healthychildren.org/spanish/health-issues/conditions/covid-19/paginas/cloth-face-coverings-for-children-during-covid-19.aspx

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1R1lSbfZ8TRchbHCiK_4svK7WLH62lS

https://vkc.mc.vanderbilt.edu/assets/files/tipsheets/socialstoriestips.pdf

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/08/19/well/childrens-face-masks-comfort.html

Bringing patients and clinicians closer together through the use of technology

By: Garrett Bomba, MD, Chief Physician Executive, Pentucket Medical

The coronavirus pandemic is changing the way we interact with each other day by day. More social distancing means medical and behavioral health care clinicians are finding new ways to provide care to their patients. The use of telehealth is making that easier.

What does that mean to you?
It means that healthcare is provided over the phone or web so that patients can stay connected to their clinician. These virtual appointments can be used for initial COVID screenings and routine exams as well as help to support those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes- all while at home.

From pediatric visits to seniors who have a question about their prescription medications, the use of telemedicine, by either phone or video provides greater access to a clinician. For many, this has proven to be an invaluable resource and it is anticipated that telemedicine visits will continue once the pandemic is over.

Though telemedicine is providing greater access for patients to clinicians, there are some clinical situations where in person appointments are necessary.

If you have questions about how your plan covers telehealth and telemedicine, reach out to your insurance provider.

To learn more about a virtual appointment click the video below:

Respiratory Illness Clinic in Riverwalk

 

As of March 30, ExpressCare/ Riverwalk staff will not be providing urgent care services until further notice.

To support our patients growing healthcare needs due to COVID-19/ Coronavirus, we will be providing respiratory care and treatment at this location. To receive this care, patients will have to be seen and referred by a Partners Healthcare clinician.

Individuals who need urgent care services and are NOT experiencing any respiratory symptoms,  please visit our ExpressCare location in Andover.

Thank you

We Screen, We Clean and We Protect.

To everyone who needs us now, come get the care you deserve. Our Safe Care Commitment is in effect at all of our locations providing  you with the safest possible environment for our patients and staff.

We screen to protect you, your families, and our staff

Patients visiting our offices for healthcare appointments are screened for symptoms upon arrival. If symptomatic, patients are cared for via virtual visits.

We also provide urgent care services at our Expresscare Riverwalk location which has a separate area where we use preventative measures.

We adhere to best practice safety protocols in those settings.

We follow special infection prevention guidelines for care provided to protect our patients and our staff.

We also provide telehealth services via video so you can access care and get the treatment you need from the comfort of your home or office.

Our goal is to keep everyone safe.