Over the last year, I have put up a few blog posts about what science says about different topics. School has just started for many kids in the United States, so I wanted to dive in and look at what science is saying about how Covid-19 affects kids.
What are the numbers for kids and Covid-19?
When writing this article, the CDC website reports that 385 deaths have Covid-19 have occurred in the 0-17 age group in 2020/21. During the same period, 54,062 children have died from all causes. In the 18 months, 0.679% of all deaths had Covid-19 as a cause.
Let’s dive a little deeper into that number. According to research done by Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at John Hopkins, he looked at 48,000 healthy kids who contracted Covid-19. Not one of those kids died of the disease.
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics stated the available data indicates that hospitalizations and death of children from Covid-19 are uncommon. According to the states reporting good hospitalization data, kids account for 1.7% of total hospitalizations. And of the childhood cases, 0.001% result in death.
The CDC data I stated above did not account for underlying conditions in the kids who died from Covid-19. The bottom line is if a child is healthy, without any comorbidities, they will not die from this disease.
What About Masks for Kids?
There was an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal by two doctors on the case against masks for children. They summarized the adverse side effects of kids wearing masks, specifically the psychological issues with having kids wear masks all day.
Masking makes non-verbal cues hard to understand. It also mutes emotions expressed in the faces of other kids and teachers. These cues are needed in the learning process. Not being able to communicate verbally and non-verbally can ultimately cause symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
A group of parents, curious about the contaminates in their masks, and their children’s set out for answers. They used new or freshly-laundered masks for a 5 to 8 hour period. After a day of use, they sent the face masks to a lab at the University of Florida. The https://rationalground.com/dangerous-pathogens-found-on-childrens-face-masks/lab analysis detected 11 dangerous pathogens on the masks. Here is a list of what they found:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia)
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis)
- Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis)
- Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis)
- Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs—resistant to antibiotics)
- Escherichia coli (food poisoning)
- Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease)
- Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)
- Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease)
- Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates)
- Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)
As you can imagine, the parents were shocked by this outcome. Unfortunately, it would be tough for rigorous research of this type because it would most likely be considered hazardous to the participant’s health.
We also know that wearing masks can increase the amount of carbon dioxide that anyone will breathe. Check out this video of testing a child wearing a mask if you want to see how much.
I will end this section of this article with research done in Germany about masking during the last school year. After surveying parents for 25,930 children, this is what they found- “The average reported wearing time of masks was 270 min per day. Of the respondents, 68% reported that children complained about impairments caused by wearing the mask. Side effects included irritability (60%), headache (53%), difficulty concentrating (50%), less happiness (49%), reluctance to go to school/kindergarten (44%), malaise (42%) impaired learning (38%) and drowsiness/fatigue (37%).”
Here is a list of research on masks detrimental effects on development-
- Impact on pediatric mental health from COVID-19
- Masks can exacerbate mental issues in children
- Numerous effects might be seen from extended mask-wearing- https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/8/4344
- Mask use might be associated with headaches on other child ailments- https://www.researchsquare.com/article/rs-124394/v2
- Autism and mask-wearing- https://researchautism.org/the-challenge-of-face-masks/
Here is research from schools without mask mandates from RationalGround.com-
- Comparison of cases with school mask mandates and no mandates in Florida, New York, and Massachusetts. “We do not find any correlations with mask mandates.”- https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.05.19.21257467v1.full
- Schools in Sweden had no masking and fared just fine- https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2026670
- Analysis of school data shows lower case rates in schools without masks-https://statsiq.co1.qualtrics.com/public-dashboard/v0/dashboard/5f78e5d4de521a001036f78e#/dashboard/5f78e5d4de521a001036f78e?pageId=Page_ffb4dc52-5543-46b2-8126-2b7229fd1b17
- Raw data on schools across specific states-https://statsiq.co1.qualtrics.com/public-dashboard/v0/dashboard/5f78e5d4de521a001036f78e#/dashboard/5f78e5d4de521a001036f78e?pageId=Page_4c1464ba-3550-4999-afee-9455713b9486
Do Children Spread Covid-19 Frequently?
Here is a quick summary of research on this topic:
- A study out of England looking at 12 million adults living with children age 0-11 showed no association between living with kids and an increased risk of severe Covid-19 outcomes.
- Researchers in Germany performed an extensive study of 2045 children and teachers at 13 schools. The results suggested that children may act as a “brake” on infections. They don’t efficiently spread this virus.
- Archives of Disease in Childhood looked at multiple papers that concluded children are not Covid-19 super spreaders. The overall idea from this article published last April is that kids should go back to school.
- Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, showed no association was found between exposure to child care and Covid-19.
Conclusion of What Science Says About Kids and Covid-19
As you can see, a lot of research has been done, and most showing that kids are not at risk of severe issues with Covid-19. We also know that the effectiveness of masks worn by kids is inconclusive; however, wearing masks can be dangerous to a child’s physical and mental health. Science also shows that kids do not spread this virus easily.
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