Pediatrician addresses mask concerns for children

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – COVID-19 creates many challenges in the classroom. Some concerns that parents may have are about their children wearing masks. News4Jax spoke to pediatrician Dr. Tina Ardon on how parents can overcome their fears about masks, the vaccine and the pandemic.

“Our parents need to have honest conversations with our children. In my own household I have 2 children who attend school. My husband and I are both doctors. Covid is much discussed in our household and all different scenarios. We are very aware and have the right conversations without children, are open to our questions, give reassurance. That’s something parents don’t feel comfortable doing, that’s what we as pediatricians and GPs are for, we’re happy to help you navigate those questions too,” Ardon said.

Ardon said it can be difficult for parents to tell the difference between anxiety and actual physical illness in younger children.

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“That’s part of the challenge. That’s where your doctor can also play a role. Being able to do a physical exam, maybe some testing if that’s really indicated,” Ardon said.

On Thursday, a judge rejected Governor Ron Desantis’s order banning local school districts from drafting mask mandates for students. The judge now gives school boards the power to make policies related to student health, even if parents disagree with those policies. Desantis said he plans to appeal.

“The judge recognized that constitutional principle and said the governor had overstepped authority on health and safety. Florida did not support a blanket mask mandate for individual counties, such as Duval County and the WJXT viewing area, to have their own universal mask policies,” said government attorney Chris Hand.

dr. Ardon believes universal masking is key to protecting children from COVID-19. For parents concerned about masks and vaccines for their children, Dr. Ardon urges them to contact their pediatrician.

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