Psychologists in favor of wearing masks at school for children: “It is desirable or even necessary”

[display-posts orderby="comment_count"]

These scenarios have much more negative impacts on well-being and learning than wearing the mask itself. GEMS’s proposal to ask children to wear masks at school received a flurry of criticism on Tuesday. But a group of seven Belgian psychologists attached to five Belgian universities defend this proposal on Wednesday. Especially if it can help minimize the risk of school closures or a return to distance education. Psychologists have engaged in a difficult exercise in balancing development, health and society.

“Wearing a mask for a whole day is painful for children,” admit psychologists. “It can cause physical discomfort, such as itching. It can also be seen as an obstruction in social exchanges ”.

[display-posts orderby="rand"]

“Desirable or even necessary”

Some scientific research shows that 9 and 10 year old children, like adults, have a harder time recognizing the emotions of a person wearing a mask. A difficult observation that deserves reflection.

However, these psychologists believe that it is “desirable or even necessary” to ask children to make this effort under certain conditions. “There is no reason to believe that a mask will lead to fundamental delays in the emotional, social or language development of children,” they conclude. “And even less that a delay would be irreversible”.

A common effort

The group of psychologists who co-wrote this position do not pose as an unconditional supporter of the measure. “It is important that the effort is not made by children only but shared by various sectors of society to bring the circulation of the virus under control”, they further specify.

The call is shared by the social psychologist Olivier Klein (ULB), the psychologist specializing in emotions Olivier Luminet (UCL), the social psychologist Vincent Yzerbyt (UCL), the development psychologist Bart Soenens (UGent), the psychologist of the health Omer Van den Bergh (KULeuven), motivational psychologist Maarten Vansteenkiste (UGent) and health psychologist Ann Desmet (UAntwerpen).

The question of making children wear a mask will have to be addressed by the consultation committee which meets on Wednesday in the hope of identifying a series of health measures capable of limiting contamination with the coronavirus.

Leave a Comment