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Ask the Pediatrician: Does my unvaccinated child still need to wear a mask?

Dr. Yvonne A. Maldonado, American Academy of Pediatrics on

Published in Health & Fitness

Q: Does my unvaccinated child still need to wear a mask if the rest of our family has gotten their shots?

A: New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most cases. But we realize that families with children who are not yet old enough for a vaccine may find it difficult to decide what's best for everyone.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

For inside activities, family members who live in the same household do not need to wear masks when they are together. Schools and child care centers may have different guidelines about mask wearing indoors, so check with officials in those places.

For outside activities, anyone who is not yet fully vaccinated, including children, should still wear masks, except:

— For activities with members of your household, such as a bike ride or walk

 

— At small gatherings with fully vaccinated family and friends

— During water sports like swimming and diving or sports where masks could pose a safety risk like gymnastics, cheer stunts, tumbling and wrestling

— In activities where individuals can keep a distance like golf and singles tennis

— For children under 2 years old

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